Biochemical Mechanisms of Dendritic Nonlinearities and their Application into Computational Models

Main Article Content

Matthew Babik


While dendritic spines make up only a small portion of the entire neuronal system, multiple intracellular mechanisms are localized to these points to trigger unique signaling pathways. Biochemical interactions of membrane channels, intracellular protein cascades, and spine morphologies all give rise to nonlinear mechanisms of signal transduction. Large branch summation events, in which multiple incoming signals are integrated towards the soma, are mediated by these mechanisms. Information on this topic is utilized within computational studies to create accurate pyramidal neural networks. However, the methods to incorporate these nonlinear mechanisms into programs can be thoroughly debated. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of current approaches that incorporate nonlinear signal transduction into neuronal models.

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Author Biography

Matthew Babik, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Matthew Babik is a sophomore in the Biochemistry major. He is pursuing an MD. Ph.D. where he hopes to study neuronal mapping techniques as a scientist and perform in utero spina bifida treatments as a medical doctor. During the fall 2021 semester, Matthew worked in UIUC’s Roger Adams Laboratory where he researched yeast vacuole proteins and their potential use as homologous models for higher eukaryotic vesicles. Since high school, he has been interested in the topic of dendritic nonlinearities and neuroscience as a whole. He found that writing for the journal was a great outlet for exploring this interest.