Visual stimuli produce waves of activity that propagate across the visual cortex of fresh water turtles. This study used a large-scale model of the cortex to examine the roles of specific types of cortical neurons in controlling the formation, speed and duration of these waves. The waves were divided into three components: initial depolarizations, primary propagating waves and secondary waves. The maximal conductances of each receptor type postsynaptic to each population of neurons in the model was systematically varied and the speed of primary waves, durations of primary waves and total wave durations were measured. The analyses indicate that wave formation and speed are controlled principally by feedforward excitation and inhibition, while wave duration is controlled principally by recurrent excitation and feedback inhibition.
- Inhibitory interneurons
- Recurrent excitation