Structural and functional properties of a probabilistic model of neuronal connectivity in a simple locomotor network.
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Although, in most animals, brain connectivity varies between individuals, behaviour is often similar across a species. What fundamental structural properties are shared across individual networks that define this behaviour? We describe a probabilistic model of connectivity in the hatchling Xenopus tadpole spinal cord which, when combined with a spiking model, reliably produces rhythmic activity corresponding to swimming. The probabilistic model allows calculation of structural characteristics that reflect common network properties, independent of individual network realisations. We use the structural characteristics to study examples of neuronal dynamics, in the complete network and various sub-networks, and this allows us to explain the basis for key experimental findings, and make predictions for experiments. We also study how structural and functional features differ between detailed anatomical connectomes and those generated by our new, simpler, model.
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