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This article is part of the supplement: Seventeenth Annual Computational Neuroscience Meeting: CNS*2008

Open Access Open Badges Oral presentation

Ion concentration dynamics: mechanisms for bursting and seizing

JR Cressman1*, G Ullah2, J Ziburkus3, SJ Schiff24 and E Barreto1

Author affiliations

1 Department of Physics & Astronomy and The Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, 22030, USA

2 Department of Engineering Sciences and Mechanics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, 16802, USA

3 Department of Biology and Biochemistry, The University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA

4 Departments of Neurosurgery and Physics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, 16802, USA

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Citation and License

BMC Neuroscience 2008, 9(Suppl 1):O9  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-9-S1-O9

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

Published:11 July 2008

© 2008 Cressman et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Oral presentation

The Hodgkin-Huxley equations are of fundamental importance in theoretical neuroscience. However, these equations assume that the intra- and extra-cellular ion concentrations of sodium and potassium are constant. While this is a reasonable assumption for the squid giant axon preparation, its validity in other cases, especially in mammalian brain, is subject to debate. It is therefore surprising that relatively little attention has been paid to the dynamics of ion concentrations in the years since Hodgkin and Huxley's seminal work was published. We develop a conductance-based model neuron that includes intra- and extra-cellular ion concentration dynamics. We further formulate a reduction of this model to identify the bifurcation structure. Using these models, we describe novel mechanisms for bursting and seizing behavior that is strikingly similar to that seen in experimental preparations.