Oscillatory activity in excitable neural systems
The brain is a complex system and exhibits various subsystems on different spatial and temporal scales. These subsystems are recurrent networks of neurons or populations that interact with each other. The single neurons are microscopic objects and evolve on a different time scale than macroscopic neural populations. To understand the dynamics of the brain, however, it is necessary to understand the dynamics of the brain network both on the microscopic and the macroscopic level and the interaction between the levels. The presented work introduces one to the major properties of single neurons and their interactions. The physical aspects of some standard mathematical models are discussed in some detail. The work shows that both single neurons and neural populations are excitable in the sense that small differences in an initial short stimulation may yield very different dynamical behaviour of the system. To illustrate the power of the neural population model discussed, the work applies the model to explain experimental activity in the delayed feedback system in weakly electric fish and the electroencephalogram (EEG).
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: INRIA CR Nancy - Grand Est, Villers-les-Nancy Cedex, France
Publication date: 2010-01-01