Reaction-diffusion memory unit: Modeling of sensitization, habituation and dishabituation in the brain

Autoři: Matthew M. Carnaghi aff001;  Joseph M. Starobin aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Nanoscience, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina, United States of America aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article


We propose a novel approach to investigate the effects of sensitization, habituation and dishabituation in the brain using the analysis of the reaction-diffusion memory unit (RDMU). This unit consists of Morris-Lecar-type sensory, motor, interneuron and two input excitable cables, linked by four synapses with adjustable strength defined by Hebbian rules. Stimulation of the sensory neuron through the first input cable causes sensitization by activating two excitatory synapses, C1 and C2, connected to the interneuron and motor neuron, respectively. In turn, the stimulation of the interneuron causes habituation through the activation of inhibitory synapse C3. Likewise, dishabituation is caused through the activation of another inhibitory synapse C4. We have determined sensitization-habituation (BSH) and habituation-dishabituation (BHDH) boundaries as functions between synaptic strengths C2 and C3 at various strengths of C1 and C4. When BSH and BHDH curves shift towards larger values of C2, the RDMU can be easily inhibited. On the contrary, the RDMU can be easily sensitized or dishabituated if BSH and BHDH curves shift towards smaller values of C2. Our numerical simulations readily demonstrate that higher values of the Morris-Lecar relaxation parameter, greater leakage and potassium conductances, reduced length of the interneuron, and higher values of C1 all result in easier habituation of the RDMU. In contrast, we found that at higher values of C4 the RDMU becomes significantly more prone to dishabituation. Based on these simulations one can quantify BSH and BHDH curve shifts and relate them to particular neural outcomes.

Klíčová slova:

Action potentials – Interneurons – Memory – Motor neurons – Neurons – Synapses – Wave propagation – Sensory neurons


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2019 Číslo 12
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