A Neural Model of Descending Gain Control in the Electrosensory System

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 5 (NIPS 1992)

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Mark Nelson


In the electrosensory system of weakly electric fish, descending pathways to a first-order sensory nucleus have been shown to influ(cid:173) ence the gain of its output neurons. The underlying neural mecha(cid:173) nisms that subserve this descending gain control capability are not yet fully understood. We suggest that one possible gain control mechanism could involve the regulation of total membrane conduc(cid:173) tance of the output neurons. In this paper, a neural model based on this idea is used to demonstrate how activity levels on descend(cid:173) ing pathways could control both the gain and baseline excitation of a target neuron .