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Neural population models and cortical field theory: overview

Bojak, I. ORCID: (2014) Neural population models and cortical field theory: overview. In: Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience. Springer, pp. 1-3. ISBN 9781461473206

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-7320-6_759-1


The term neural population models (NPMs) is used here as catchall for a wide range of approaches that have been variously called neural mass models, mean field models, neural field models, bulk models, and so forth. All NPMs attempt to describe the collective action of neural assemblies directly. Some NPMs treat the densely populated tissue of cortex as an excitable medium, leading to spatially continuous cortical field theories (CFTs). An indirect approach would start by modelling individual cells and then would explain the collective action of a group of cells by coupling many individual models together. In contrast, NPMs employ collective state variables, typically defined as averages over the group of cells, in order to describe the population activity directly in a single model. The strength and the weakness of his approach are hence one and the same: simplification by bulk. Is this justified and indeed useful, or does it lead to oversimplification which fails to capture the pheno ...

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
ID Code:39619

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