The creation, modulation, propagation, and termination of seizures are of great interest to neuroscientists as understanding the dynamics of these responses may aid the prevention of seizures. Three major factors affecting epileptiform activity are intrinsic neuronal properties, synaptic properties and network connectivity. The computation required for the full scale simulation of neuronal networks is prohibitively expensive. To address this issue, we develop a simpler model for networks with planar lattice topology and “small world” characteristics. Using this model, one may examine the effects of connectivity and intrinsic neuronal properties on population firing, a measure of network activity, quickly. To verify that the model is acceptable, the population firing produced by this simplified model is compared with population firing obtained from simulations of full-scale networks of model neurons for various connectivity parameters. To check that the behaviors exhibited by the networks are not unique to networks of a specific neuron model, the network is simulated using two neuron models: the Hodgkin-Huxley model and the leaky integrate-and-fire model. With reasonable assumptions required to account for the differing levels of detail between the various models, it was observed that the network simulations and the simplified model exhibit similar behaviors.


epilepsy, neuroscience, compuational, model, seizure, bursting, planar lattice topology

Secondary Subject Category

Biology, Neuroscience (0317)

Date of this Version

July 2008



Month of Graduation


Year of Graduation



Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Head of Graduate Program

Mark J. T. Smith

Advisor 1 or Chair of Committee

Venkataramanan Balakrishnan

Advisor 2

Cheng-Kok Koh

Committee Member 1

Jenna Rickus