We are developing
tools that will allow exploration of the functional consequences of variation
in dendritic structure and composition on signaling
in dendrites at a finer scale. Over time, we will systematically upscale these
models as we learn how to simplify the realistic domain structures
appropriately and allow incorporation of those features that significantly
impact dendritic signaling into more realistic whole
creating models based on the Poisson-Nernst-Planck equations (show below) for
use on models at the scale of realistic domains as shown in the pipeline.
We will examine the effects that
various spine parameters (neck width, neck length, base-to-tip length, etc)
have on the results of our simulations.
We will also model electrical
field effects which is an important feature in many brain regions, including
the hippocampus. These effects include synchronous bursting behavior which is
known to correlate with epileptic seizures.