Compartmental models of dendrites are the most widely used tool for investigating their electrical behaviour. Traditional models assign a single potential to a compartment. This potential is associated with the membrane potential at the centre of the segment represented by the compartment. All input to that segment, independent of its location on the segment, is assumed to act at the centre of the segment with the potential of the compartment. By contrast, the compartmental model introduced in this article assigns a potential to each end of a segment, and takes into account the location of input to a segment on the model solution by partitioning the effect of this input between the axial currents at the proximal and distal boundaries of segments. For a given neuron, the new and traditional approaches to compartmental modelling use the same number of locations at which the membrane potential is to be determined, and lead to ordinary differential equations that are structurally identical. However, the solution achieved by the new approach gives an order of magnitude better accuracy and precision than that achieved by the latter in the presence of point process input.
Model Type: Neuron or other electrically excitable cell
Model Concept(s): Methods
Lindsay AE, Lindsay KA, Rosenberg JR. (2005). Increased computational accuracy in multi-compartmental cable models by a novel approach for precise point process localization. Journal of computational neuroscience. 19 [PubMed]