, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 243-257
Date: 14 Aug 2006

The K-complex and slow oscillation in terms of a mean-field cortical model

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We use a mean-field macrocolumn model of the cerebral cortex to offer an interpretation of the K-complex of the electroencephalogram to complement those of more detailed neuron-by-neuron models. We interpret the K-complex as a momentary excursion of the cortex from a stable low-firing state to an unstable high-firing state, and hypothesize that the related slow oscillation can be considered as the periodic oscillation between two meta-stable solutions of the mean-field model. By incorporating a Hebbian-style learning rule that links the growth in synapse strength to fluctuations in soma potential, we demonstrate a self-organization behaviour that draws the modelled cortex close to the edge of stability of the low-firing state. Furthermore, a very slow oscillation can occur in the excitability of the cortex that has similarities with the infra-slow oscillation of sleep.

Action Editor: Nicolas Brunel