Synaptic interactions.
Alain Destexhe, Zachary F. Mainen and Terrence J. Sejnowski

The Handbook of Brain Theory and Neural Networks (2nd edition), Edited by M.A. Arbib, MIT Press, 2002, pp. 1126-1130.

Copy of the full paper (PDF)
Modeling synaptic interactions in network models poses a particular challenge. Not only should such models capture the important physiological properties of synaptic interactions, but they must do so in a computationally efficient manner to facilitate simulations of large networks. In this paper, we review several types of models which address these goals.

Synaptic currents are mediated by ion channels activated by neurotransmitter released from presynaptic terminals. Kinetic models are expressive enough to describe the behavior of ion channels underlying synaptic currents. Although full representation of the molecular details of the synapse generally requires highly complex kinetic models, we focus here on simpler kinetic models that are more computationally efficient. We show that these models can capture the time course and dynamics of several types of synaptic responses, allowing them to be useful tools for modeling synaptic interactions in large networks.

NEURON demo:
This package creates a directory containing a demo for running the models of synaptic receptors using the Interviews version of the NEURON simulator. The demo shows how to implement biophysical models of synaptic interactions using NEURON. Both detailed and simplified models of synaptic currents and most useful types of postsynaptic receptors (AMPA, NMDA, GABA_A, GABA_B, neuromodulators) are described in a reference paper. We provide here the complement to simulate the same models using NEURON.

The reference paper is a chapter in the book “Methods in Neuronal Modeling” :

Destexhe, A., Mainen, Z.F. and Sejnowski, T.J. Kinetic models of synaptic transmission. In: Methods in Neuronal Modeling, 2nd Edition, Edited by Koch, C. and Segev, I., MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1998, pp. 1-25.

in which all details are given. More instructions are provided in a README file.