Jonathan Rubin
Rhythmic activity in central pattern generators

The idea of a central pattern generator (CPG), consisting of a collection of neurons that is able to generate a repetitive, rhythmic pattern of activity in the absence of input, is quite old, and CPGs appear to underlie behaviors such as respiration, locomotion, and mastication. Nonetheless, many open questions remain about the mechanisms through which intrinsic cellular properties interact with properties of coupling within CPGs to select rhythms and to modulate phases within rhythms. In this talk, I will review dynamical systems ideas underlying certain forms of rhythmic activity in model neurons and will discuss new results on rhythmic mechanisms in single cells, based on evidence from the mammalian respiratory brain stem, and in small networks of cells.

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