In this project we will investigate the transfer function of d1 and d2 types dopamine receptor expressing medium spiny neurons using biophysically detailed models. The models consists of about 1000 compartments, each with up to 13 voltage-dependent ion channels and two synapses (excitatory and inhibitory, respectively).
We will measure the output of the neuron when input excitation and inhibition are systematically changed. We are interested in understanding how dopamine, which usually acts as a reward signal in the brain, affects the two-dimensional transfer-function of the cell.
The results will help us better understand how reward mediated by dopamine affect striatal network properties.
The work is computationally intensive because of the model complexity, the large number of synapses (The run time of the models is proportional to the input frequency of the synapses), and the complex interaction between dopamine and the ion channels.