|We are excited to share our latest Preprint from the Whelan Lab in collaboration with Computational Neuroscientists Gennady Cymbalyuk and Alex Vargas from Georgia State University!|
Locomotor behaviours are often episodic, and although this has been well described in a variety of invertebrate and vertebrate species, the intrinsic mechanisms that govern episodic rhythmic activity are poorly understood.
In this article we deploy a computational model of a half centre oscillator (HCO) and an in vitro experimental model of the new-born mouse spinal cord to explore intrinsic mechanisms that govern the generation of episodic rhythmic activities.
Our computational model and experimental approaches suggest that dynamic interactions between Na+/K+ pump, h-, and persistent Na+ currents can produce episodic activity and that modulation of these currents leads to transitions from episodic to continuous rhythmic activities.
We also found multistable zones near transitions between episodic and continuous patterns while manipulating h – or pump currents in our model where rapid switching between patterns could be induced by introducing brief, but specific perturbations to the model HCO.
Our study provides insight into mechanisms that govern the generation of and transitions between multiple forms of rhythmic activity and suggests that, episodic and continuous patterns, can be generated by a single, but tuneable CPG element in the spinal cord.
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This manuscript has since been revised following a constructive feedback as a result of eLife’s Preprint review program. The updated and improved manuscript is now available on BioRxiv!