The hippocampus is amongst the most widely studied of mammalian brain regions (see The Hippocampus Book, Eds. P. Andersen, R. Morris, D. Amaral, T. Bliss, J. Oâ€™Keefe. Oxford University Press, 2007) and is hypothesized to play a role in the short-term storage of declarative memories. Recent years have witnessed a dramatic accumulation of knowledge about the morphological, physiological and molecular characteristics as well as the connectivity and synaptic properties of the various cell types found in the hippocampus.
Microcircuits can be thought of as functional modules that act as elementary processing units bridging the gap between single cell activity, network activity and global brain function. Microcircuits can be found in many parts of mammalian nervous systems and consist of a complex architecture involving many different neuronal types connected in feed forward and feedback loops.
Synaptic connections may be excitatory or inhibitory and target specific spatial locations on a neuron. In addition to synaptic input, a neuron and the microcircuit it is a part of are subject to diffuse neuromodulatory signals. Neural synaptic transmission and neuromodulation combine to provide a complex dynamics of neural activity and presumed information processing in a neuronal microcircuit.
The book is divided into two thematic areas: (1) Experimental background and (2) Computational analysis. In the first thematic area, leading experimental neuroscientists discuss the morphological, physiological and molecular characteristics as well as the connectivity and synaptic properties of the various cell types found in the hippocampus.
This engaging volume will be invaluable to experimental and computational neuroscientists, electrical engineers, physicists, mathematicians and others interested in developing microcircuit models of the hippocampus. Graduate level students and trainees in all of these fields will find this book a significant source of information.
This volume will act as a self-contained source book for computational neuroscientists developing hippocampal models. It will be invaluable entirely in itself, but will also form a useful companion volume to The Hippocampus Book (OUP, 2007.)