Original article| Volume 40, ISSUE 12, P1230-1245, December 15, 1996

Sensory gating in a computer model of the CA3 neural network of the hippocampus

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      We have developed a unique computer model of the CA3 region of the hippocampus that simulates the P50 auditory evoked potential response to repeated stimuli in order to study the neuronal circuits involved in a sensory processing deficit associated with schizophrenia. Our computer model of the CA3 hippocampal network includes recurrent activation from within the CA3 region as well as input from the entorhinal cortex and the medial septal nucleus. We used the model to help us determine if the cortical and septal inputs to the CA3 hippocampus alone are responsible for the gating of auditory evoked activity, or if the strong recurrent activity within the CA3 region contributes to this phenomenon. The model suggests that the medial septal input is critical for normal gating; however, to a large extent the activity of the medial septal input can be replaced by simulated stimulation of the hippocampal neurons by a nicotinic agonist. The model is thus consistent with experimental data that show that nicotine restores gating of the N40 evoked potential in fimbria-fornix lesioned rats and of the P50 evoked potential in schizophrenic patients.

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