Health & Human Kinetics Faculty Work

Interplay Between Excitability Type and Distributions of Neuronal Connectivity Determines Neuronal Network Synchronization

Christian Fink, Ohio Wesleyan University
Sima Mofakham
Victoria Booth
Michael Zochowski


While the interplay between neuronal excitability properties and global properties of network topology is known to affect network propensity for synchronization, it is not clear how detailed characteristics of these properties affect spatiotemporal pattern formation. Here we study mixed networks, composed of neurons having type I and/or type II phase response curves, with varying distributions of local and random connections and show that not only average network properties, but also the connectivity distribution statistics, significantly affect network synchrony. Namely, we study networks with fixed networkwide properties, but vary the number of random connections that nodes project. We show that varying node excitability (type I vs type II) influences network synchrony most dramatically for systems with long-tailed distributions of the number of random connections per node. This indicates that a cluster of even a few highly rewired cells with a high propensity for synchronization can alter the degree of synchrony in the network as a whole. We show this effect generally on a network of coupled Kuramoto oscillators and investigate the impact of this effect more thoroughly in pulse-coupled networks of biophysical neurons.