Symmetry breaking in solitary solutions to the Hodgkin–Huxley model

  • Tadas TelksnysEmail author
  • Zenonas Navickas
  • Inga Timofejeva
  • Romas Marcinkevicius
  • Minvydas Ragulskis
Original Paper


This paper presents necessary and sufficient conditions for the existence of bright/dark solitary solutions in the Hodgkin–Huxley model. The second-order analytic solitary solutions are derived using the generalized differential operator technique. It is shown that the heteroclinic bifurcation in the Hodgkin–Huxley model yields a symmetry breaking effect. Trajectories of solitary solutions before the bifurcation lie on manifolds of one of the saddle points and the separatrix between periodic and non-periodic solutions. A new separatrix emerges after the heteroclinic bifurcation—but solitary solutions do not lie on this trajectory. This symmetry breaking effect is demonstrated using analytic and computational experiments.


Solitary solution Hodgkin–Huxley model Generalized differential operator Heteroclinic bifurcation 

Mathematics Subject Classification

35B32 35C08 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Nonlinear SystemsKaunas University of TechnologyKaunasLithuania
  2. 2.Department of Software EngineeringKaunas University of TechnologyKaunasLithuania

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