Author(s): Tsodyks M, Uziel A, Markram H
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Abstract Throughout the neocortex, groups of neurons have been found to fire synchronously on the time scale of several milliseconds. This near coincident firing of neurons could coordinate the multifaceted information of different features of a stimulus. The mechanisms of generating such synchrony are not clear. We simulated the activity of a population of excitatory and inhibitory neurons randomly interconnected into a recurrent network via synapses that display temporal dynamics in their transmission; surprisingly, we found a behavior of the network where action potential activity spontaneously self-organized to produce highly synchronous bursts involving virtually the entire network. These population bursts were also triggered by stimuli to the network in an all-or-none manner. We found that the particular intensities of the external stimulus to specific neurons were crucial to evoke population bursts. This topographic sensitivity therefore depends on the spectrum of basal discharge rates across the population and not on the anatomical individuality of the neurons, because this was random. These results suggest that networks in which neurons are even randomly interconnected via frequency-dependent synapses could exhibit a novel form of reflex response that is sensitive to the nature of the stimulus as well as the background spontaneous activity.
This article was published in J Neurosci
and referenced in Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology