A feedback systems approach to modeling neural firing-rate homeostasis

Niranjan Chakravarthy, Shivkumar Sabesan, Andreas Spanias, Leon Iasemidis, Kostas Tsakalis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We consider a cortical neural population model in an effort to understand the basic mechanisms that regulate and maintain "normal" neural firing-rate despite changes in the cortical input level. Towards this goal, we have postulated the existence of internal feedback structures that functionally model firing-rate homeostasis via the balance of excitation and inhibition. In particular, normal internal feedback action maintains normal firing-rate by regulating the strength of excitatory input from pyramidal neurons in other cortical populations, and the strength of inhibitory input from interneurons. We observe that a pathology in the internal feedback that regulates the inhibitory input can lead to seizure-like high amplitude oscillations. These arise from two mechanisms, namely, excessive specific recurrent excitation between cortical populations, and excessive non-specific excitatory input. Further, we develop an external closed-loop control technique where the controller acts to achieve the operational objective of maintaining normal firing-rate. In addition to that, the external controller is also successful in avoiding the occurrence of "seizures". The results of this analysis are consistent with recent experimental observations in the epileptic brain, and have an interesting physical interpretation and implications for the treatment of disorders such as epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 46th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control 2007, CDC
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)1424414989, 9781424414987
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event46th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control 2007, CDC - New Orleans, LA, United States
Duration: Dec 12 2007Dec 14 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control
ISSN (Print)0743-1546
ISSN (Electronic)2576-2370


Other46th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control 2007, CDC
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans, LA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Control and Optimization


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