Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Neuroscience and BioMed Central.

This article is part of the supplement: Eighteenth Annual Computational Neuroscience Meeting: CNS*2009

Open Access Poster presentation

A computational model for the excitatory network of the C2 column of barrel cortex

Christian Tomm1*, Sandrine Lefort2, Juan-Carlos Floyd Sarria3 and Carl CH Petersen2

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of computational Neuroscience, EPFL, Lausanne, 1015 Switzerland

2 Laboratory of Sensory Processing, EPFL, Lausanne, 1015 Switzerland

3 Bioimaging and Optics, EPFL, Lausanne, 1015 Switzerland

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Neuroscience 2009, 10(Suppl 1):P164  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-10-S1-P164

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:13 July 2009

© 2009 Tomm et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Poster presentation

Many animals, especially rodents, use whiskers as an important sensory input. One of the multiple interesting properties of the whisker sensory pathway is its somatotopic mapping. Every single whisker has a local representation in the primary sensory cortex. In this barrel cortex, each whisker is represented by a single column of cortex. The excitatory connections of the C2 barrel cortex column were researched thoroughly in [1].

Using these data, a model was built to mirror the measured pair to pair connectivity. This model consists of integrate and fire neurons and uses the cell counts found in the experiments. Only taking into account the excitatory population, this amounts to around 6000 neurons in the network. The neuronal properties such as threshold, resting potential, EPSP shape, etc. are fitted to the found experimental values. Through simulations we show how the distribution of synaptic weights can influence the behaviour of the network.


  1. Lefort S, Tomm C, Floyd Sarria JC, Petersen CC: The excitatory neuronal network of the C2 barrel column in mouse primary somatosensory cortex.

    Neuron 2009, 61:301-316. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL