Microcircuits, functional modules that act as elementary processing units bridging single cells to systems and behavior, could provide the link between neurons and global brain function. Microcircuits are designed to serve particular functions; examples of these functional modules include the cortical columns in sensory cortici, glomeruli in the olfactory systems of insects and vertebrates, and networks generating different aspects of motor behavior. In this Dahlem Workshop volume, leading neuroscientists discuss how microcircuits work to bridge the single cell and systems levels and compare the intrinsic function of microcircuits with their ion channel subtypes, connectivity, and receptors, in order to understand the design principles and function of the microcircuits.
The chapters cover the four major areas of microcircuit research: motor systems, including locomotion, respiration, and the saccadic eye movements; the striatum, the largest input station of the basal ganglia; olfactory systems and the neural organization of the glomeruli; and the neocortex. Each chapter is followed by a group report, a collaborative discussion among senior scientists.
Contributors: Lidia Alonso-Nanclares, Hagai Bergman, Maria Blatow, J. Paul Bolam, Ansgar Büschges, Antonio Caputi, Jean-Pierre Changeux, Javier DeFelipe, Carsten Duch, Paul Feinstein, Stuart Firestein, Yves Frégnac, Rainer W. Friedrich, C. Giovanni Galizia, Ann M. Graybiel, Charles A. Greer, Sten Grillner, Tadashi Isa, Ole Kiehn, Minoru Kimura, Anders Lanser, Gilles Laurent, Pierre-Marie Lledo, Wolfgang Maass, Henry Markram, David A. McCormick, Christoph M. Michel, Peter Mombaerts, Hannah Monyer, Hans-Joachim Pflüger, Dietmar Plenz, Diethelm W. Richter, Silke Sachse, H. Sebastian Seung, Keith T. Sillar, Jeffrey C. Smith, David L. Sparks, D. James Surmeier, Eörs Szathmáry, James M. Tepper, Jeff R. Wickens, Rafael Yuste
Recent advances in motor behavior research rely on detailed knowledge of the characteristics of the neurons and networks that generate motor behavior. At the cellular level, Neurons, Networks, and Motor Behavior describes the computational characteristics of individual neurons and how these characteristics are modified by neuromodulators. At the network and behavioral levels, the volume discusses how network structure is dynamically modulated to produce adaptive behavior. Contributors describe how networks generate such motor behaviors as walking, swimming, flying, scratching, reaching, breathing, feeding, and chewing.
The volume contains six sections: selection and initiation of motor patterns; generation and formation of motor patterns: cellular and systems properties; generation and formation of motor patterns: computational approaches; modulation and reconfiguration; short-term modulation of pattern generating circuits; and sensory modification of motor output to control whole body orientation.