Clustering through post inhibitory rebound in synaptically coupled neurons
Chik, D T W and Coombes, Stephen and Wang, Z D (2004) Clustering through post inhibitory rebound in synaptically coupled neurons.
Post inhibitory rebound is a nonlinear phenomenon present in a variety of nerve cells. Following a period of hyper-polarization this effect allows a neuron to fire a spike or packet of spikes before returning to rest. It is an important mechanism underlying central pattern generation for heartbeat, swimming and other motor patterns in many neuronal systems. In this paper we consider how networks of neurons, which do not intrinsically oscillate, may make use of inhibitory synaptic connections to generate large scale coherent rhythms in the form of cluster states. We distinguish between two cases i) where the rebound mechanism is due to anode break excitation and ii) where rebound is due to a slow T-type calcium current. In the former case we use a geometric analysis of a McKean type model to obtain expressions for the number of clusters in terms of the speed and strength of synaptic coupling. Results are found to be in good qualitative agreement with numerical simulations of the more detailed Hodgkin-Huxley model. In the second case we consider a particular firing rate model of a neuron with a slow calcium current that admits to an exact analysis. Once again existence regions for cluster states are explicitly calculated. Both mechanisms are shown to prefer globally synchronous states for slow synapses as long as the strength of coupling is sufficiently large. With a decrease in the duration of synaptic inhibition both systems are found to break into clusters. A major difference between the two mechanisms for cluster generation is that anode break excitation can support clusters with several groups, whilst slow T-type calcium currents predominantly give rise to clusters of just two (anti-synchronous) populations.
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