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On the basic mechanisms of anticipated synchronization in neuronal circuits

Anticipated synchronization (AS) is an anti-intuitive phenomenon that can occur in two coupled dynamical systems when there is a dominant connectivity between the elements. AS occurs when a dynamical system A dominantly connects to another system B and B synchronously pulses before A does. It has been recently shown [1, 2] that AS can occur in a model of coupled Hodgkin-Huxley (HH) neurons and even in neuron populations. Recently, this astonishing regime has been observed in some cortical circuits of monkeys when performing a visual discrimination task [2]. However, the basic mechanisms for this synchronization to occur are still unclear. In this communication we analyze a circuit of excitatory and inhibitory HH neurons as well as neurons populations and find, analyzing individual responses as well as phase response curves, that inhibitory neurons can control the transition between delayed and anticipated synchronization.


  1. Matias FS, Carelli PV, Mirasso CR, Copelli M: Anticipated synchronization in a biologically plausible model of neuronal motifs,. Phys Rev E. 2011, 84: 021922-

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  2. Matias FS, Gollo LL, Carelli P, Bressler S, Copelli M, Mirasso CR: Modelling positive Granger Causality and negative phase lag between cortical areas. Neuroimage. 2014, 99: 411-418.

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Correspondence to Fernanda Matias.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Matias, F., Millan, A.P., Martinez, L. et al. On the basic mechanisms of anticipated synchronization in neuronal circuits. BMC Neurosci 16 (Suppl 1), P167 (2015).

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