Volume 10 Supplement 1

Eighteenth Annual Computational Neuroscience Meeting: CNS*2009

Open Access

A computational model for the excitatory network of the C2 column of barrel cortex

  • Christian Tomm1Email author,
  • Sandrine Lefort2,
  • Juan-Carlos Floyd Sarria3 and
  • Carl CH Petersen2
BMC Neuroscience200910(Suppl 1):P164


Published: 13 July 2009

Many animals, especially rodents, use whiskers as an important sensory input. One of the multiple interesting properties of the whisker sensory pathway is its somatotopic mapping. Every single whisker has a local representation in the primary sensory cortex. In this barrel cortex, each whisker is represented by a single column of cortex. The excitatory connections of the C2 barrel cortex column were researched thoroughly in [1].

Using these data, a model was built to mirror the measured pair to pair connectivity. This model consists of integrate and fire neurons and uses the cell counts found in the experiments. Only taking into account the excitatory population, this amounts to around 6000 neurons in the network. The neuronal properties such as threshold, resting potential, EPSP shape, etc. are fitted to the found experimental values. Through simulations we show how the distribution of synaptic weights can influence the behaviour of the network.

Authors’ Affiliations

Laboratory of computational Neuroscience, EPFL
Laboratory of Sensory Processing, EPFL
Bioimaging and Optics, EPFL


  1. Lefort S, Tomm C, Floyd Sarria JC, Petersen CC: The excitatory neuronal network of the C2 barrel column in mouse primary somatosensory cortex. Neuron. 2009, 61: 301-316. 10.1016/j.neuron.2008.12.020.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar


© Tomm et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.