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Correlation transfer from basal ganglia to thalamus in Parkinson’s disease

Alterations in the temporal structure of activity within the basal ganglia have been implicated in the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Past computational work has suggested that changes in the pattern of firing of neurons in the basal ganglia, and hence in the pattern of basal ganglia inputs to thalamus, may compromise thalamocortical relay capabilities [1, 2]. To understand how changes in basal ganglia and thalamic activity affect correlation transfer, we study a model of two thalamocortical relay neurons receiving correlated inhibitory input from basal ganglia, as well as excitatory signals. We observe that inhibitory inputs with temporal structure representative of parkinsonian conditions allow for a stronger transfer of correlation at long timescales and higher correlation susceptibility than do inputs found under normal conditions, and we analyze these changes within a reduced model framework.


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Correspondence to Pamela Reitsma.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Reitsma, P., Rubin, J. & Doiron, B. Correlation transfer from basal ganglia to thalamus in Parkinson’s disease. BMC Neurosci 11 (Suppl 1), P114 (2010).

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