We model spontaneous cortical activity with a network of coupled spiking units, in which multiple spatio-temporal patterns are stored as dynamical attractors. We introduce an order parameter, which measures the overlap (similarity) between the activity of the network and the stored patterns. We find that, depending on the excitability of the network, different working regimes are possible. For high excitability, the dynamical attractors are stable, and a collective activity that replays one of the stored patterns emerges spontaneously, while for low excitability, no replay is induced. Between these two regimes, there is a critical region in which the dynamical attractors are unstable, and intermittent short replays are induced by noise. At the critical spiking threshold, the order parameter goes from zero to one, and its fluctuations are maximized, as expected for a phase transition (and as observed in recent experimental results in the brain). Notably, in this critical region, the avalanche size and duration distributions follow power laws. Critical exponents are consistent with a scaling relationship observed recently in neural avalanches measurements. In conclusion, our simple model suggests that avalanche power laws in cortical spontaneous activity may be the effect of a network at the critical point between the replay and non-replay of spatio-temporal patterns

Neural Avalanches at the Critical Point between Replay and Non-Replay of Spatiotemporal Patterns

SCARPETTA, Silvia;
2013

Abstract

We model spontaneous cortical activity with a network of coupled spiking units, in which multiple spatio-temporal patterns are stored as dynamical attractors. We introduce an order parameter, which measures the overlap (similarity) between the activity of the network and the stored patterns. We find that, depending on the excitability of the network, different working regimes are possible. For high excitability, the dynamical attractors are stable, and a collective activity that replays one of the stored patterns emerges spontaneously, while for low excitability, no replay is induced. Between these two regimes, there is a critical region in which the dynamical attractors are unstable, and intermittent short replays are induced by noise. At the critical spiking threshold, the order parameter goes from zero to one, and its fluctuations are maximized, as expected for a phase transition (and as observed in recent experimental results in the brain). Notably, in this critical region, the avalanche size and duration distributions follow power laws. Critical exponents are consistent with a scaling relationship observed recently in neural avalanches measurements. In conclusion, our simple model suggests that avalanche power laws in cortical spontaneous activity may be the effect of a network at the critical point between the replay and non-replay of spatio-temporal patterns
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/3991652
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