Methods for comparing and constraining models of dendritic spines
Skene, N. and Nasuto, S.J. (2008) Methods for comparing and constraining models of dendritic spines. In: 2nd plenary French conference on Computational Neuroscience (Neurocomp08), Marseille, France.
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Physiological evidence using Infrared Video Microscopy during the uncaging of glutamate has proven the existence of excitable calcium ion channels in spine heads, highlighting the need for reliable models of spines. In this study we compare the three main methods of simulating excitable spines: Baer & Rinzel's Continuum (B&R) model, Coombes' Spike-Diffuse-Spike (SDS) model and paired cable and ion channel equations (Cable model). Tests are done to determine how well the models approximate each other in terms of speed and heights of travelling waves. Significant quantitative differences are found between the models: travelling waves in the SDS model in particular are found to travel at much lower speeds and sometimes much higher voltages than in the Cable or B&R models. Meanwhile qualitative differences are found between the B&R and SDS models over realistic parameter ranges. The cause of these differences is investigated and potential solutions proposed.