Any realistic model of the neuronal pathway from the retina to the visual cortex (V1) must account for the burstingbehavior of neurons in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). A robust but minimal model, the integrate- and-fire-or-burst (IFB) model, has recently been proposed for individual LGN neurons. Based on this, we derive a dynamic population model and study a population of such LGN cells. This population model, the first simulation of its kind evolving in a two-dimensional phase space, is used to study the behavior of bursting populations in response to diverse stimulus conditions.
The response of a noninteracting population of identical neurons to a step change in steady synaptic input can be analytically calculated exactly from the dynamical equation that describes the population's evolution in time. Here, for model integrate-and-fire neurons that undergo a fixed finite upward shift in voltage in response to each synaptic event, we compare the theoretical prediction with the result of a direct simulation of 90,000 model neurons. The degree of agreement supports the applicability of the population dynamics equation. The theoretical prediction is in the form of a series. Convergence is rapid, so that the full result is well approximated by a few terms.