Transient and persistent UP states during slow-wave oscillation and their implications for cell-assembly dynamics

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Original languageEnglish
Article number10680
Journal / PublicationScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes



The membrane potentials of cortical neurons in vivo exhibit spontaneous fluctuations between a depolarized UP state and a resting DOWN state during the slow-wave sleeps or in the resting states. This oscillatory activity is believed to engage in memory consolidation although the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Recently, it has been shown that UP-DOWN state transitions exhibit significantly different temporal profiles in different cortical regions, presumably reflecting differences in the underlying network structure. Here, we studied in computational models whether and how the connection configurations of cortical circuits determine the macroscopic network behavior during the slow-wave oscillation. Inspired by cortical neurobiology, we modeled three types of synaptic weight distributions, namely, log-normal, sparse log-normal and sparse Gaussian. Both analytic and numerical results suggest that a larger variance of weight distribution results in a larger chance of having significantly prolonged UP states. However, the different weight distributions only produce similar macroscopic behavior. We further confirmed that prolonged UP states enrich the variety of cell assemblies activated during these states. Our results suggest the role of persistent UP states for the prolonged repetition of a selected set of cell assemblies during memory consolidation.

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