Distributed Bandpass Filtering and Signal Demodulation in Cortical Network Models

  • Mark D. McDonnell
Part of the Understanding Complex Systems book series (UCS)


Experimental recordings of cortical activity often exhibit narrowband oscillations, at various center frequencies ranging in the order of 1–200 Hz. Many neuronal mechanisms are known to give rise to oscillations, but here we focus on a population effect known as sparsely synchronised oscillations. In this effect, individual neurons in a cortical network fire irregularly at slow average spike rates (1–10 Hz), but the population spike rate oscillates at gamma frequencies (greater than 40 Hz) in response to spike bombardment from the thalamus. These cortical networks form recurrent (feedback) synapses. Here we describe a model of sparsely synchronized population oscillations using the language of feedback control engineering, where we treat spiking as noisy feedback. We show, using a biologically realistic model of synaptic current that includes a delayed response to inputs, that the collective behavior of the neurons in the network is like a distributed bandpass filter acting on the network inputs. Consequently, the population response has the character of narrowband random noise, and therefore has an envelope and instantaneous frequency with lowpass characteristics. Given that there exist biologically plausible neuronal mechanisms for demodulating the envelope and instantaneous frequency, we suggest there is potential for similar effects to be exploited in nanoscale electronics implementations of engineered communications receivers.


Bandpass Filter Close Loop System Instantaneous Frequency Feedback Signal Cortical Network 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



M. D. McDonnell was supported by the Australian Research Council under ARC grant DP1093425 (including an Australian Research Fellowship), and an Endeavour Research Fellowship from the Australian Government.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Telecommunications ResearchUniversity of South AustraliaMawson LakesAustralia

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