Frequency preference in two-dimensional neural models: A linear analysis of the interaction between resonant and amplifying currents

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Many neuron types exhibit preferred frequency responses in their voltage amplitude (resonance) or phase shift to subthreshold oscillatory currents, but the effect of biophysical parameters on these properties is not well understood. We propose a general framework to analyze the role of different ionic currents and their interactions in shaping the properties of impedance amplitude and phase in linearized biophysical models and demonstrate this approach in a two-dimensional linear model with two effective conductances g L and g 1. We compute the key attributes of impedance and phase (resonance frequency and amplitude, zero-phase frequency, selectivity, etc.) in the g L - g1 parameter space. Using these attribute diagrams we identify two basic mechanisms for the generation of resonance: an increase in the resonance amplitude as g 1 increases while the overall impedance is decreased, and an increase in the maximal impedance, without any change in the input resistance, as the ionic current time constant increases. We use the attribute diagrams to analyze resonance and phase of the linearization of two biophysical models that include resonant (I h or slow potassium) and amplifying currents (persistent sodium). In the absence of amplifying currents, the two models behave similarly as the conductances of the resonant currents is increased whereas, with the amplifying current present, the two models have qualitatively opposite responses. This work provides a general method for decoding the effect of biophysical parameters on linear membrane resonance and phase by tracking trajectories, parametrized by the relevant biophysical parameter, in pre-constructed attribute diagrams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-28
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Computational Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sensory Systems
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


  • Impedance
  • Model neuron
  • Resonance
  • Subthreshold oscillations
  • Zero phase frequency


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