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      NEURAL EXCITABILITY, SPIKING AND BURSTING

      1 , 2

      International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos

      World Scientific Pub Co Pte Lt

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          Abstract

          Bifurcation mechanisms involved in the generation of action potentials (spikes) by neurons are reviewed here. We show how the type of bifurcation determines the neuro-computational properties of the cells. For example, when the rest state is near a saddle-node bifurcation, the cell can fire all-or-none spikes with an arbitrary low frequency, it has a well-defined threshold manifold, and it acts as an integrator; i.e. the higher the frequency of incoming pulses, the sooner it fires. In contrast, when the rest state is near an Andronov–Hopf bifurcation, the cell fires in a certain frequency range, its spikes are not all-or-none, it does not have a well-defined threshold manifold, it can fire in response to an inhibitory pulse, and it acts as a resonator; i.e. it responds preferentially to a certain (resonant) frequency of the input. Increasing the input frequency may actually delay or terminate its firing.

          We also describe the phenomenon of neural bursting, and we use geometric bifurcation theory to extend the existing classification of bursters, including many new types. We discuss how the type of burster defines its neuro-computational properties, and we show that different bursters can interact, synchronize and process information differently.

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          Most cited references 74

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          Voltage oscillations in the barnacle giant muscle fiber.

           C. Morris,  H Lecar (1981)
          Barnacle muscle fibers subjected to constant current stimulation produce a variety of types of oscillatory behavior when the internal medium contains the Ca++ chelator EGTA. Oscillations are abolished if Ca++ is removed from the external medium, or if the K+ conductance is blocked. Available voltage-clamp data indicate that the cell's active conductance systems are exceptionally simple. Given the complexity of barnacle fiber voltage behavior, this seems paradoxical. This paper presents an analysis of the possible modes of behavior available to a system of two noninactivating conductance mechanisms, and indicates a good correspondence to the types of behavior exhibited by barnacle fiber. The differential equations of a simple equivalent circuit for the fiber are dealt with by means of some of the mathematical techniques of nonlinear mechanics. General features of the system are (a) a propensity to produce damped or sustained oscillations over a rather broad parameter range, and (b) considerable latitude in the shape of the oscillatory potentials. It is concluded that for cells subject to changeable parameters (either from cell to cell or with time during cellular activity), a system dominated by two noninactivating conductances can exhibit varied oscillatory and bistable behavior.
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            A quantitative description of membrane current and its application to conduction and excitation in nerve

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              Synchrony in excitatory neural networks.

              Synchronization properties of fully connected networks of identical oscillatory neurons are studied, assuming purely excitatory interactions. We analyze their dependence on the time course of the synaptic interaction and on the response of the neurons to small depolarizations. Two types of responses are distinguished. In the first type, neurons always respond to small depolarization by advancing the next spike. In the second type, an excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) received after the refractory period delays the firing of the next spike, while an EPSP received at a later time advances the firing. For these two types of responses we derive general conditions under which excitation destabilizes in-phase synchrony. We show that excitation is generally desynchronizing for neurons with a response of type I but can be synchronizing for responses of type II when the synaptic interactions are fast. These results are illustrated on three models of neurons: the Lapicque integrate-and-fire model, the model of Connor et al., and the Hodgkin-Huxley model. The latter exhibits a type II response, at variance with the first two models, that have type I responses. We then examine the consequences of these results for large networks, focusing on the states of partial coherence that emerge. Finally, we study the Lapicque model and the model of Connor et al. at large coupling and show that excitation can be desynchronizing even beyond the weak coupling regime.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos
                Int. J. Bifurcation Chaos
                World Scientific Pub Co Pte Lt
                0218-1274
                1793-6551
                May 02 2012
                June 2000
                May 02 2012
                June 2000
                : 10
                : 06
                : 1171-1266
                Affiliations
                [1 ]The Neurosciences Institute, 10640 John Jay Hopkins Drive, San Diego, CA 92121, USA
                [2 ]Center for Systems Science & Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-7606, USA
                Article
                10.1142/S0218127400000840
                © 2000

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