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

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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.

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Correspondence to Naoki Masuda.

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We thank M. Watanabe, Y. Tsubo, and\linebreak C. van Leeuwen for helpful discussions. This work is partially supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and by the Advanced and Innovational Research program in Life Sciences and a Grant-in-Aid no. 15016023 on priority areas (C) Advanced Brain Science Project from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, the Japanese Government.

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Masuda, N., Aihara, K. Global and local synchrony of coupled neurons in small-world networks. Biol. Cybern. 90, 302–309 (2004).

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