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Simulation of the Electrically Stimulated Cochlear Neuron: Modeling Adaptation to Trains of Electric Pulses

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3 Author(s)
Jihwan Woo ; Dept. of Otolaryngology, Univ. of Iowa Hosp. & Clinics, Iowa City, IA ; Miller, C.A. ; Abbas, P.J.

The Hodgkin-Huxley (HH) model does not simulate the significant changes in auditory nerve fiber (ANF) responses to sustained stimulation that are associated with neural adaptation. Given that the electric stimuli used by cochlear prostheses can result in adapted responses, a computational model incorporating an adaptation process is warranted if such models are to remain relevant and contribute to related research efforts. In this paper, we describe the development of a modified HH single-node model that includes potassium ion (K+) concentration changes in response to each action potential. This activity-related change results in an altered resting potential, and hence, excitability. Our implementation of K+-related changes uses a phenomenological approach based upon K+ accumulation and dissipation time constants. Modeled spike times were computed using repeated presentations of modeled pulse-train stimuli. Spike-rate adaptation was characterized by rate decrements and time constants and compared against ANF data from animal experiments. Responses to relatively low (250 pulse/s) and high rate (5000 pulse/s) trains were evaluated and the novel adaptation model results were compared against model results obtained without the adaptation mechanism. In addition to spike-rate changes, jitter and spike intervals were evaluated and found to change with the addition of modeled adaptation. These results provide one means of incorporating a heretofore neglected (although important) aspect of ANF responses to electric stimuli. Future studies could include evaluation of alternative versions of the adaptation model elements and broadening the model to simulate a complete axon, and eventually, a spatially realistic model of the electrically stimulated nerve within extracochlear tissues.

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Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:56 ,  Issue: 5 )