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Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Jan 20;96(2):028107. Epub 2006 Jan 19.

Self-organized criticality model for brain plasticity.

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Dept. of Information Engineering and CNISM, Second University of Naples, 81031 Aversa (CE), Italy.


Networks of living neurons exhibit an avalanche mode of activity, experimentally found in organotypic cultures. Here we present a model that is based on self-organized criticality and takes into account brain plasticity, which is able to reproduce the spectrum of electroencephalograms (EEG). The model consists of an electrical network with threshold firing and activity-dependent synapse strengths. The system exhibits an avalanche activity in a power-law distribution. The analysis of the power spectra of the electrical signal reproduces very robustly the power-law behavior with the exponent 0.8, experimentally measured in EEG spectra. The same value of the exponent is found on small-world lattices and for leaky neurons, indicating that universality holds for a wide class of brain models.

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