Comparison of Multi-Compartment Cable Models of Human Auditory Nerve Fibers

Richard Bachmaier, Jörg Encke, Miguel Obando-Leitón, Werner Hemmert, Siwei Bai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Multi-compartment cable models of auditory nerve fibers have been developed to assist in the improvement of cochlear implants. With the advancement of computational technology and the results obtained from in vivo and in vitro experiments, these models have evolved to incorporate a considerable degree of morphological and physiological details. They have also been combined with three-dimensional volume conduction models of the cochlea to simulate neural responses to electrical stimulation. However, no specific rules have been provided on choosing the appropriate cable model, and most models adopted in recent studies were chosen without a specific reason or by inheritance. Methods: Three of the most cited biophysical multi-compartment cable models of the human auditory nerve, i.e., Rattay et al. (2001b), Briaire and Frijns (2005), and Smit et al. (2010), were implemented in this study. Several properties of single fibers were compared among the three models, including threshold, conduction velocity, action potential shape, latency, refractory properties, as well as stochastic and temporal behaviors. Experimental results regarding these properties were also included as a reference for comparison. Results: For monophasic single-pulse stimulation, the ratio of anodic vs. cathodic thresholds in all models was within the experimental range despite a much larger ratio in the model by Briaire and Frijns. For biphasic pulse-train stimulation, thresholds as a function of both pulse rate and pulse duration differed between the models, but none matched the experimental observations even coarsely. Similarly, for all other properties including the conduction velocity, action potential shape, and latency, the models presented different outcomes and not all of them fell within the range observed in experiments. Conclusions: While all three models presented similar values in certain single fiber properties to those obtained in experiments, none matched all experimental observations satisfactorily. In particular, the adaptation and temporal integration behaviors were completely missing in all models. Further extensions and analyses are required to explain and simulate realistic auditory nerve fiber responses to electrical stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1173
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Volume13
DOIs
StatePublished - 5 Nov 2019

Keywords

  • auditory nerve
  • biophysical
  • cable model
  • computational model
  • electrical stimulation
  • threshold

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