Date of Award

Spring 4-11-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Neuroscience Institute

First Advisor

Gennady Cymbalyuk

Second Advisor

Ronald Calabrese

Third Advisor

Mukesh Dhamala

Fourth Advisor

Donald Edwards

Fifth Advisor

Remus Osan


An open question in contemporary neuroscience is how neuromodulators coregulate multiple conductances to maintain functional neuronal activity. Neuromodulators enact changes to properties of biophysical characteristics, such as the maximal conductance or voltage of half-activation of an ionic current, which determine the type and properties of neuronal activity. We apply dynamical systems theory to study the changes to neuronal activity that arise from neuromodulation.

Neuromulators can act on multiple targets within a cell. The coregulation of mulitple ionic currents extends the scope of dynamic control on neuronal activity. Different aspects of neuronal activity can be independently controlled by different currents. The coregulation of multiple ionic currents provides precise control over the temporal characteristics of neuronal activity. Compensatory changes in multiple ionic currents could be used to avoid dangerous dynamics or maintain some aspect of neuronal activity. The coregulation of multiple ionic currents can be used as bifurcation control to ensure robust dynamics or expand the range of coexisting regimes. Multiple ionic currents could be involved in increasing the range of dynamic control over neuronal activity. The coregulation of multiple ionic currents in neuromodulation expands the range over which biophysical parameters support functional activity.