we are looking into running simulations of the nervous system of C. Elegans. It is believed by most people that the worm's nervous system encodes information through graded potentials and/or plateau potentials rather than action potentials, as would be the case for example in many parts of the human nervous system.
We are planning on building upon a NEURON simulation created by the OpenWorm team. We want to see where we can get by including channel mechanisms and most importantly by making the transition from a spiking network model to a model reflecting the above belief that C. Elegans does not use action potentials. We then want to compare this with data collected at the University of Vienna.
Now, I am a student of mathematics and this is a project for university, so I am hopelessly confused by the neuroscience books I have been looking at. Instead, I hope that you guys can help me out with my question. To explain, consider the following scenario inside of C. Elegans:
Say I have neurons A and B, connected through some type of synapse. Neuron A is stimulated by a voltage clamp and generates a varying, graded potential lasting over a prolonged period (say 20 ms). Now what would a typical membrane potential of neuron B that one would expect in this situation look like? In pictures:
I realize this is a somewhat ill-posed question, but I am not asking for a detailed chemical or biological explanation of the process, but rather a heuristic that can serve as a starting point for a simulation. In case there is something already known in this respect, I would be thankful if you could point me to the references.
The next question would then be how one could implement this in NEURON, which has only NetCon to create networks. I figured I could use an artificial simulated synapse by drawing a small long cylinder with several compartments between neurons and then using a gap junction type connection, but I really don't know if this even makes sense.