, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 61-71
Date: 17 Dec 2010

Firing responses of bursting neurons with delayed feedback

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Thalamic neurons, which play important roles in the genesis of rhythmic activities of the brain, show various bursting behaviors, particularly modulated by complex thalamocortical feedback via cortical neurons. As a first step to explore this complex neural system and focus on the effects of the feedback on the bursting behavior, a simple loop structure delayed in time and scaled by a coupling strength is added to a recent mean-field model of bursting neurons. Depending on the coupling strength and delay time, the modeled neurons show two distinct response patterns: one entrained to the unperturbed bursting frequency of the neurons and one entrained to the resonant frequency of the loop structure. Transitions between these two patterns are explored in the model’s parameter space via extensive numerical simulations. It is found that at a fixed loop delay, there is a critical coupling strength at which the dominant response frequency switches from the unperturbed bursting frequency to the loop-induced one. Furthermore, alternating occurrence of these two response frequencies is observed when the delay varies at fixed coupling strength. The results demonstrate that bursting is coupled with feedback to yield new dynamics, which will provide insights into such effects in more complex neural systems.

Action Editor: Bard Ermentrout