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Neuronal behaviors: A control perspective

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Drion, G 
Dethier, J 
Franci, A 
Sepulchre, Rodolphe  ORCID logo


The purpose of this tutorial is to introduce and analyze models of neurons from a control perspective and to show how recently developed analytical tools help to address important biological questions. A first objective is to review the basic modeling principles of neurophysiology in which neurons are modeled as equivalent nonlinear electrical circuits that capture their excitable properties. The specific architecture of the models is key to the tractability of their analysis: in spite of their high-dimensional and nonlinear nature, the model properties can be understood in terms of few canonical positive and negative feedback motifs localized in distinct timescales. We use this insight to shed light on a key problem in experimental neurophysiology, the challenge of understanding the sensitivity of neuronal behaviors to underlying parameters in empirically-derived models. Finally, we show how sensitivity analysis of neuronal excitability relates to robustness and regulation of neuronal behaviors.



control theory, equivalent circuits, feedback, neural nets, neurophysiology, control theory, equivalent nonlinear electrical circuits, negative feedback motifs, neuron models, neuronal behavior sensitivity, neuronal excitability, neurophysiology modeling principles, positive feedback motifs, sensitivity analysis, biological system modeling, biomembranes, computational modeling, integrated circuit modeling, mathematical model, neurons

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Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control

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2015 54th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC)

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European Research Council (670645)
The Royal Society (wm130007)
This paper presents research results of the Belgian Network DYSCO (Dynamical Systems, Control, and Optimization), funded by the Interuniversity Attraction Poles Programme, initiated by the Belgian State, Science Policy Office. G.D. is a Marie-Curie COFUND postdoctoral fellow at the University of Liege. Co-funded by the European Union. J.D. is supported by the F.R.S.-FNRS (Belgian Fund for Scientific Research. The scientific responsibility rests with its authors.