Using phase response curves to predict synchronization times for neural circuits
© Crotty 2015
Published: 18 December 2015
In a previous work , it was found that small simulated circuits of regularly spiking entorhinal cortex layer II stellate cells (using the model of ) synchronize fastest when their intrinsic firing frequencies are approximately in the 15-20 Hz range, which is very near the θ frequency range (8-12 Hz) where these cells are experimentally known to actually fire. The synchronization time (which we define as the mean time after the onset of synaptic coupling it takes the cells to synchronize their firings to within one action potential width of each other, starting with an initially random phase configuration) in this optimal frequency range can be several times lower than when the cells have either higher or lower intrinsic frequencies, is robust across a wide range of 2- and 3-cell circuit topologies and synaptic coupling strengths, and appears for both excitatory and inhibitory coupling. The existence of such an optimization may be significant both for the entorhinal cortex itself (where a background θ rhythm is believed to play a role in the phase-coding of position information by grid cells ) and in other parts of the brain for which cell assemblies play an essential role in information processing, in that assemblies of intrinsically θ-frequency cells would be able to form much faster than assemblies of other cells.
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