Compartmental Models

The basic idea behind compartmental modeling is that neural circuits can be described and simulated by electrical circuits. In particular, a neuron can be thought of as a cable with particular electrical characteristics. Similarly, synapses can be thought of as electrical connections. This approach is largely attributed to the work of Hodgkin and Rushton. Rob Smith continues to use this approach in modeling the retina and has developed the NeuronC language to implement such models. Much of the following explanation are my notes on the excellent chapter 5 (pgs 121-1445) "Neurons as conductors of electricity" in From Neuron to Brain by Nicholls, Martin and Wallace. Throughout the text below are symbols which may be used to flip you back to the page on electric units.

Membrane Mechanics (used in models of the axon and soma)

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© 1995 Lance Hahn (lance@retina.anatomy.upenn.edu)