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Section: New Results

Neural Networks as dynamical systems

Periodic forcing of stabilized E-I networks: Nonlinear resonance curves and dynamics

Participants : Romain Veltz, Terry Sejnowski [Salk Institute] .

Inhibition stabilized networks (ISNs) are neural architectures with strong positive feedback among pyramidal neurons balanced by strong negative feedback from in-hibitory interneurons, a circuit element found in the hippocampus and the primary visual cortex. In their working regime, ISNs produce damped oscillations in the γ-range in response to inputs to the inhibitory population. In order to understand the proper-ties of interconnected ISNs, we investigated periodic forcing of ISNs. We show that ISNs can be excited over a range of frequencies and derive properties of the resonance peaks. In particular, we studied the phase-locked solutions, the torus solutions and the resonance peaks. More particular, periodically forced ISNs respond with (possibly multi-stable) phase-locked activity whereas networks with sustained intrinsic oscillations respond more dynamically to periodic inputs with tori. Hence, the dynamics are surprisingly rich and phase effects alone do not adequately describe the network response. This strengthens the importance of phase-amplitude coupling as opposed to phase-phase coupling in providing multiple frequencies for multiplexing and routing information.

This work has been published in Neural Computation and is available as [29] .

A new twist for the simulation of hybrid systems using the true jump method

Participant : Romain Veltz.

The use of stochastic models, in effect piecewise deterministic Markov processes (PDMP), has become increasingly popular especially for the modeling of chemical reactions and cell biophysics. Yet, exact simulation methods, for the simulation of these models in evolving environments, are limited by the need to find the next jumping time at each recursion of the algorithm. We report on a new general method to find this jumping time for the True Jump Method. It is based on an expression in terms of ordinary differential equations for which efficient numerical methods are available. As such, our new result makes it possible to study numerically stochastic models for which analytical formulas are not available thereby providing a way to approximate the state distribution for example. We conclude that the wide use of event detection schemes for the simulation of PDMPs should be strongly reconsidered. The only relevant remaining question being the efficiency of our method compared to the Fictitious Jump Method, question which is strongly case dependent.

This work is available as [55] .

On the effects on cortical spontaneous activity of the symmetries of the network of pinwheels in visual area V1

Participants : Romain Veltz, Pascal Chossat, Olivier Faugeras.

This work challenges and extends earlier seminal work. We consider the problem of describing mathematically the spontaneous activity of V1 by combining several important experimental observations including (1) the organization of the visual cortex into a spatially periodic network of hypercolumns structured around pinwheels, (2) the difference between short-range and long-range intracortical connections, the first ones being rather isotropic and producing naturally doubly periodic patterns by Turing mechanisms, the second one being patchy, and (3) the fact that the Turing patterns spontaneously produced by the short-range connections and the network of pinwheels have similar periods. By analyzing the preferred orientation (PO) maps, we are able to classify all possible singular points (the pinwheels) as having symmetries described by a small subset of the wallpaper groups. We then propose a description of the spontaneous activity of V1 using a classical voltage-based neural field model that features isotropic short-range connectivities modulated by non-isotropic long-range connectivities. A key observation is that, with only short-range connections and because the problem has full translational invariance in this case, a spontaneous doubly periodic pattern generates a 2-torus in a suitable functional space which persists as a flow-invariant manifold under small perturbations, for example when turning on the long-range connections. Through a complete analysis of the symmetries of the resulting neural field equation and motivated by a numerical investigation of the bifurcations of their solutions, we conclude that the branches of solutions which are stable over an extended range of parameters are those that correspond to patterns with an hexagonal (or nearly hexagonal) symmetry. The question of which patterns persist when turning on the long-range connections is answered by (1) analyzing the remaining symmetries on the perturbed torus and (2) combining this information with the Poincaré-Hopf theorem. We have developed a numerical implementation of the theory that has allowed us to produce the predicted patterns of activities, the planforms. In particular we generalize the contoured and non-contoured planforms predicted by previous authors.

This work has been published in Journal of Mathematical Neuroscience and is available as [27] .

Biophysical reaction-diffusion model for stage II retinal waves and bifurcations analysis

Participants : Theodora Karvouniari, Bruno Cessac.

Retinal waves are spontaneous waves of spiking activity observed in the retina, during development only, playing a central role in shaping the visual system and retinal circuitry. Understanding how these waves are initiated and propagate in the retina could enable one to control, guide and predict them in the in vivo adult retina as inducing them is expected to reintroduce some plasticity in the retinal tissue and in the projections to the LGN. In this context, we propose a physiologically realistic reaction-diffusion model for the mechanisms of the emergence of stage II cholinergic retinal waves during development. We perform the bifurcation analysis when varying two biophysically relevant parameters, the conductances of calcium and potassium gCa,gK respectively. The two main goals of our work are: firstly, reproduce the experimental recordings of developmental retinal waves by simulating our model and secondly, explore the different dynamical behaviours observed when varying these two parameters.

This work is available as [35] .

Spatio-Temporal Linear Response of Spiking Neuronal Network Models

Participants : Rodrigo Cofré, Bruno Cessac.

We study the impact of a weak time-dependent external stimulus on the collective statistics of spiking responses in neuronal networks. We extend the current knowledge, assessing the impact over firing rates and cross correlations, to any higher order spatio-temporal correlation [1]. Our approach is based on Gibbs distributions (in a general setting considering non stationary dynamics and infinite memory) [2] and linear response theory. The linear response is written in terms of a correlation matrix, computed with respect to the spiking dynamics without stimulus. We give an example of application in a conductance based integrate-and fire model.

This work is available as [38] .

Heteroclinic cycles in Hopfield networks

Participants : Pascal Chossat, Maciej Krupa.

It is widely believed that information is stored in the brain by means of the varying strength of synaptic connections between neurons. Stored patterns can be replayed upon the arrival of an appropriate stimulus. Hence, it is interesting to understand how an information pattern can be represented by the dynamics of the system. In this work, we consider a class of network neuron models, known as Hopfield networks, with a learning rule which consists of transforming an information string to a coupling pattern. Within this class of models, we study dynamic patterns, known as robust heteroclinic cycles, and establish a tight connection between their existence and the structure of the coupling.

This work has been published in Journal of Nonlinear Science and is available as [20] .