Biological Cybernetics

, Volume 90, Issue 4, pp 302-309

First online:

Global and local synchrony of coupled neurons in small-world networks

  • Naoki MasudaAffiliated withFaculty of Engineering, Yokohama National University Email author 
  • , Kazuyuki AiharaAffiliated withGraduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of TokyoERATO, Japan Science and Technology Agency

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Synchronous firing of neurons is thought to play important functional roles such as feature binding and switching of cognitive states. Although synchronization has mainly been investigated so far using model neurons with simple connection topology, real neural networks have more complex structures. Here we examine the behavior of pulse-coupled leaky integrate-and-fire neurons with various network structures. We first show that the dispersion of the number of connections for neurons influences dynamical behavior even if other major topological statistics are kept fixed. The rewiring probability parameter representing the randomness of networks bridges two spatially opposite frameworks: precise local synchrony and rough global synchrony. Finally, cooperation of the global connections and the local clustering property, which is prominent in small-world networks, inforces synchrony of distant neuronal groups receiving coherent inputs.