A Complex-Valued Firing-Rate Model That Approximates the Dynamics of Spiking Networks

Schaffer, Evan S.; Ostojic, Srdjan; Abbott, Larry

Firing-rate models provide an attractive approach for studying large neural networks because they can be simulated rapidly and are amenable to mathematical analysis. Traditional firing-rate models assume a simple form in which the dynamics are governed by a single time constant. These models fail to replicate certain dynamic features of populations of spiking neurons, especially those involving synchronization. We present a complex-valued firing-rate model derived from an eigenfunction expansion of the Fokker-Planck equation and apply it to the linear, quadratic and exponential integrate-and-fire models. Despite being almost as simple as a traditional firing-rate description, this model can reproduce firing-rate dynamics due to partial synchronization of the action potentials in a spiking model, and it successfully predicts the transition to spike synchronization in networks of coupled excitatory and inhibitory neurons.


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PLOS Computational Biology

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Academic Units
Physiology and Cellular Biophysics
Published Here
November 18, 2016