Dopamine Induced Bistability Enhances Signal Processing in Spiny Neurons

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 15 (NIPS 2002)

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Aaron Gruber, Sara Solla, James Houk


Single unit activity in the striatum of awake monkeys shows a marked dependence on the expected reward that a behavior will elicit. We present a computational model of spiny neurons, the principal neurons of the striatum, to assess the hypothesis that di(cid:173) rect neuromodulatory effects of dopamine through the activation of D 1 receptors mediate the reward dependency of spiny neuron activity. Dopamine release results in the amplification of key ion currents, leading to the emergence of bistability, which not only modulates the peak firing rate but also introduces a temporal and state dependence of the model's response, thus improving the de(cid:173) tectability of temporally correlated inputs.