Cascade-induced synchrony in stochastically driven neuronal networks

Katherine A. Newhall, Gregor Kovačič, Peter R. Kramer, David Cai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Perfect spike-to-spike synchrony is studied in all-to-all coupled networks of identical excitatory, current-based, integrate-and-fire neurons with delta-impulse coupling currents and Poisson spike-train external drive. This synchrony is induced by repeated cascading "total firing events," during which all neurons fire at once. In this regime, the network exhibits nearly periodic dynamics, switching between an effectively uncoupled state and a cascade-coupled total firing state. The probability of cascading total firing events occurring in the network is computed through a combinatorial analysis conditioned upon the random time when the first neuron fires and using the probability distribution of the subthreshold membrane potentials for the remaining neurons in the network. The probability distribution of the former is found from a first-passage-time problem described by a Fokker-Planck equation, which is solved analytically via an eigenfunction expansion. The latter is found using a central limit argument via a calculation of the cumulants of a single neuronal voltage. The influence of additional physiological effects that hinder or eliminate cascade-induced synchrony are also investigated. Conditions for the validity of the approximations made in the analytical derivations are discussed and verified via direct numerical simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041903
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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