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See detailAnalysis of performance and robustness of biological switches: local tools for non-local dynamical phenomena.
Trotta, Laura ULg

Doctoral thesis (2013)

Biological switches are frequently encountered in mathematical modeling of biological systems because binary decisions are at the core of many cellular processes. A bistable switch presents two stable ... [more ▼]

Biological switches are frequently encountered in mathematical modeling of biological systems because binary decisions are at the core of many cellular processes. A bistable switch presents two stable steady-states, each of them corresponding to a distinct decision. These two decisions are assumed to result from the interactions between biochemical effectors at the molecular level. Because these molecular interactions are particularly complex, involving many effectors, mathematical models of biological switches are often high dimensional and nonlinear. Therefore, an analysis of these systems is challenging. In this dissertation, we try to identify principles and tools to study the performance and robustness of biological switches. Our first contribution is to highlight the dynamical nature of these switches. A biological switch encodes a decision-making process rather than a static binary code. It captures dynamical phenomena that are important for the decision-making process, such as decision latencies and reversibility. Our second contribution is methodological. While most of the classical analysis tools are based on a linearization of the system around a stable steady-state, a switch is a non local phenomenon involving a transition between two stable steady-sates. Rather than studying the system around stable equilibria, we identify the local rulers of the decision-making process in both the state and parameter spaces and propose a local analysis in the vicinity of these particular points. Our third contribution is to emphasize the added value of an abstract (that is, mathematical) framework for the analysis of biological switches. By studying different models, we point out that the same principles can be used to encode dynamical phenomena in very different cellular processes. Physiological processes as different as apoptosis, the cellular choice of death, and action potential, the cellular choice to emit an electrical spike, share common features when regarded as decision-making processes. [less ▲]

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Peer Reviewed
See detailFirst spike latency sensitivity of spiking neuron models
Trotta, Laura ULg; Franci, Alessio ULg; Sepulchre, Rodolphe ULg

Poster (2013, July 08)

First spike latency is the long-lasting period preceding the first spike of a neuron submitted to a super-threshold stimulus. It has been suggested that this latency could code for stimulus recognition in ... [more ▼]

First spike latency is the long-lasting period preceding the first spike of a neuron submitted to a super-threshold stimulus. It has been suggested that this latency could code for stimulus recognition in several sensory systems. To encode information reliably, first spike latency should be sensitive to sensory inputs but robust to external perturbations. This paper studies the robustness of the first spike latency in spiking neuron models. We show the interplay between bistability, first spike latency and a type of neuronal excitability called regenerative excitability. [less ▲]

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See detailDecision making in noisy bistable switches A local analysis for non local predictions
Trotta, Laura ULg; Bullinger, Eric ULg; Sepulchre, Rodolphe ULg

Conference (2012, March)

In this paper, we try to estimate some statistics about the decision making process in a bistable model submitted to noise by studying the local properties of the system around an hyperbolic saddle point ... [more ▼]

In this paper, we try to estimate some statistics about the decision making process in a bistable model submitted to noise by studying the local properties of the system around an hyperbolic saddle point. Despite the fact that the saddle is not an equilibrium point of the stochastic system, we show that a local approach is still instructive. Under appropriate assumptions, the system can be reduced to an Orsntein-Uhlenbeck process whose dynamics depend on the properties of the saddle point. Yet, Orstein-Uhlenbeck processes have been used to study decision making under uncertainty in a broad variety of fields including statistics and cognitive neurosciences . [less ▲]

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See detailDelayed decision-making in bistable models
Trotta, Laura ULg; Sepulchre, Rodolphe ULg; Bullinger, Eric ULg

in Proceedings of the 49th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (2010, December)

Detailed reference viewed: 129 (65 ULg)