Dynamics of excitatory networks of bursting pacemaking neurons: Modeling and experimental studies of the respiratory central pattern generator

R. J. Butera, S. M. Johnson, C. A. Delnegro, J. Rinzel, J. C. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article


We have explored the dynamics of a computational model of an excitatory network of bursting pacemaker neurons with heterogeneous properties. The network generates synchronous bursts of activity, and the frequency of both single cells and the synaptically coupled pacemaker cell population may be controlled by varying the degree of depolarizing input (DI). The dynamic range of DI where stable bursting occurs is significantly larger for the coupled population than that of individual cells, suggesting a functional role of cellular heterogeneity in making biological rhythms more robust. Experimental evidence is presented from the pacemaker-network generating the respiratory rhythm in the mammalian brainstem. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-330
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Jun 1 2000
EventThe 8th Annual Computational Neuroscience Meeting (CNS'99) - Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Duration: Jul 18 1999Jul 22 1999



  • Frequency control
  • Medulla
  • Pattern generation
  • Pre-Botzinger
  • Respiration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Artificial Intelligence

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