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Nat Commun. 2014 Nov 18;5:5512. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6512.

Oscillations emerging from noise-driven steady state in networks with electrical synapses and subthreshold resonance.

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Department Theory of Neural Dynamics, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Max-von-Laue Strasse 4, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK.


Oscillations play a critical role in cognitive phenomena and have been observed in many brain regions. Experimental evidence indicates that classes of neurons exhibit properties that could promote oscillations, such as subthreshold resonance and electrical gap junctions. Typically, these two properties are studied separately but it is not clear which is the dominant determinant of global network rhythms. Our aim is to provide an analytical understanding of how these two effects destabilize the fluctuation-driven state, in which neurons fire irregularly, and lead to an emergence of global synchronous oscillations. Here we show how the oscillation frequency is shaped by single neuron resonance, electrical and chemical synapses.The presence of both gap junctions and subthreshold resonance are necessary for the emergence of oscillations. Our results are in agreement with several experimental observations such as network responses to oscillatory inputs and offer a much-needed conceptual link connecting a collection of disparate effects observed in networks.

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