The laminar cortex model: a new continuum cortex model incorporating laminar architecture.
Local field potentials (LFPs) are widely used to study the function of local networks in the brain. They are also closely correlated with the blood-oxygen-level-dependent signal, the predominant contrast mechanism in functional magnetic resonance imaging. We developed a new laminar cortex model (LCM) to simulate the amplitude and frequency of LFPs. Our model combines the laminar architecture of the cerebral cortex and multiple continuum models to simulate the collective activity of cortical neurons. The five cortical layers (layer I, II/III, IV, V, and VI) are simulated as separate continuum models between which there are synaptic connections. The LCM was used to simulate the dynamics of the visual cortex under different conditions of visual stimulation. LFPs are reported for two kinds of visual stimulation: general visual stimulation and intermittent light stimulation. The power spectra of LFPs were calculated and compared with existing empirical data. The LCM was able to produce spontaneous LFPs exhibiting frequency-inverse (1/ƒ) power spectrum behaviour. Laminar profiles of current source density showed similarities to experimental data. General stimulation enhanced the oscillation of LFPs corresponding to gamma frequencies. During simulated intermittent light stimulation, the LCM captured the fundamental as well as high order harmonics as previously reported. The power spectrum expected with a reduction in layer IV neurons, often observed with focal cortical dysplasias associated with epilepsy was also simulated.