Volume 10 Supplement 1
Switching to criticality by synchronized input
© Levina et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009
Published: 13 July 2009
The concept of self-organized criticality (SOC) describes a variety of phenomena ranging from plate tectonics, the dynamics of granular media and stick-slip motion to neural avalanches . In all these cases the dynamics is marginally stable and event sizes obey a characteristic power-law distribution.
By elucidating the relation between the elementary synaptic processes and the network dynamics, our mean-field approach revealed a macroscopic bifurcation pattern, which can be verified experimentally through predicted hysteresis. Furthermore it may be able to explain observations of up and down states in the prefrontal cortex  as well as the discrete changes in synaptic potentiation and depression  as network effects.
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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.