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J Theor Biol. 2013 Oct 7;334:13-25. doi: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2013.05.022. Epub 2013 Jun 6.

Decoding synchronized oscillations within the brain: phase-delayed inhibition provides a robust mechanism for creating a sharp synchrony filter.

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  • 1Mathematics Department, Duke University, Box 90320, Durham, NC 27708-0320, USA.


The widespread presence of synchronized neuronal oscillations within the brain suggests that a mechanism must exist that is capable of decoding such activity. Two realistic designs for such a decoder include: (1) a read-out neuron with a high spike threshold, or (2) a phase-delayed inhibition network motif. Despite requiring a more elaborate network architecture, phase-delayed inhibition has been observed in multiple systems, suggesting that it may provide inherent advantages over simply imposing a high spike threshold. In this work, we use a computational and mathematical approach to investigate the efficacy of the phase-delayed inhibition motif in detecting synchronized oscillations. We show that phase-delayed inhibition is capable of creating a synchrony detector with sharp synchrony filtering properties that depend critically on the time course of inputs. Additionally, we show that phase-delayed inhibition creates a synchrony filter that is far more robust than that created by a high spike threshold.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Feedforward inhibition; Neuronal networks; Phase-delayed inhibition; Synchronized oscillations; Synchrony filter

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