Assimilation of biophysical neuronal dynamics in neuromorphic VLSI

Wang, J, Breen D, Akinin A, Broccard F, Abarbanel HDI, Cauwenberghs G.  2017.  Assimilation of biophysical neuronal dynamics in neuromorphic VLSI. Ieee Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems. 11:1258-1270.

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Biophysical emulation, channel kinetics, circuits, conductances, construction, continuous-time, Data assimilation, dynamics, membrane, models, neuromorphic integrated circuits, parameter-estimation, search algorithm, statistical-data assimilation, system, variational data assimilation


Representing the biophysics of neuronal dynamics and behavior offers a principled analysis-by-synthesis approach toward understanding mechanisms of nervous system functions. We report on a set of procedures assimilating and emulating neurobiological data on a neuromorphic very large scale integrated (VLSI) circuit. The analog VLSI chip, NeuroDyn, features 384 digitally programmable parameters specifying for 4 generalized Hodgkin-Huxley neurons coupled through 12 conductance-based chemical synapses. The parameters also describe reversal potentials, maximal conductances, and spline regressed kinetic functions for ion channel gating variables. In one set of experiments, we assimilated membrane potential recorded from one of the neurons on the chip to the model structure upon which NeuroDyn was designed using the known current input sequence. We arrived at the programmed parameters except for model errors due to analog imperfections in the chip fabrication. In a related set of experiments, we replicated songbird individual neuron dynamics on NeuroDyn by estimating and configuring parameters extracted using data assimilation from intracellular neural recordings. Faithful emulation of detailed biophysical neural dynamics will enable the use of NeuroDyn as a tool to probe electrical and molecular properties of functional neural circuits. Neuroscience applications include studying the relationship between molecular properties of neurons and the emergence of different spike patterns or different brain behaviors. Clinical applications include studying and predicting effects of neuromodulators or neurodegenerative diseases on ion channel kinetics.