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Biophys J. 1990 Jun;57(6):1245-51.

Routes to chaos in a model of a bursting neuron.

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77251-1892.


Chaotic regimens have been observed experimentally in neurons as well as in deterministic neuronal models. The R15 bursting cell in the abdominal ganglion of Aplysia has been the subject of extensive mathematical modeling. Previously, the model of Plant and Kim has been shown to exhibit both bursting and beating modes of electrical activity. In this report, we demonstrate (a) that a chaotic regime exists between the bursting and beating modes of the model, and (b) that the model approaches chaos from both modes by a period doubling cascade. The bifurcation parameter employed is the external stimulus current. In addition to the period doubling observed in the model-generated trajectories, a period three "window" was observed, power spectra that demonstrate the approaches to chaos were generated, and the Lyaponov exponents and the fractal dimension of the chaotic attractors were calculated. Chaotic regimes have been observed in several similar models, which suggests that they are a general characteristic of cells that exhibit both bursting and beating modes.

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