EXPERIMENTAL BASIS FOR REALISTIC LARGE-SCALE COMPUTER SIMULATION OF THE ENTERIC NERVOUS SYSTEM
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1. The enteric nervous system is perhaps the most accessible part of the mammalian nervous system in which it is feasible to attempt large scale computer simulation that is based closely on experimentally determined data. Here we summarize the data obtained for simulation of motility reflexes in the guinea-pig small intestine. 2. The chemistry, morphology and connectivity of each type of neuron involved in intrinsic reflexes have been investigated and most classes of neurons are physiologically well characterized. This includes primary sensory neurons, ascending and descending interneurons and motor neurons to circular and longitudinal muscle. 3. The responses of primary sensory neurons and the physiology of synaptic transmission from sensory neurons to interneurons and motor neurons, from interneurons to interneurons and from interneurons to motor neurons have been recorded during reflexes and in some cases the pharmacology of transmission has also been investigated. 4. Computer simulation, in which the activities of up to 30,000 neurons are modelled, produces patterns of activity that closely mimic those recorded in physiological experiments.
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