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Structural versus dynamical origins of mean-field behavior in a self-organized critical model of neuronal avalanches


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      Critical dynamics of cortical neurons have been intensively studied over the past decade. Neuronal avalanches provide the main experimental as well as theoretical tools to consider criticality in such systems. Experimental studies show that critical neuronal avalanches show mean-field behavior. There are structural as well as recently proposed [Phys. Rev. E 89, 052139 (2014)] dynamical mechanisms which can lead to mean-field behavior. In this work we consider a simple model of neuronal dynamics based on threshold self-organized critical models with synaptic noise. We investigate the role of high average connectivity, random long range connections, as well as synaptic noise in achieving mean-field behavior. We employ finite-size scaling in order to extract critical exponents with good accuracy. We conclude that relevant structural mechanisms responsible for mean-field behavior cannot be justified in realistic models of the cortex. However, strong dynamical noise, which can have realistic justifications, always leads to mean-field behavior regardless of the underlying structure. Our work provides a different (dynamical) origin than the conventionaly accepted (structural) mechanisms for mean-field behavior in neuronal avalanches.

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      Condensed matter, Nonlinear & Complex systems


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