Psychedelic Information Theory

Shamanism in the Age of Reason


Spatially Structured Activity In Synaptically Coupled Neuronal Networks: I. Traveling Fronts And Pulses

Pinto, Ermentrout; SIAM J. Appl. Math 62-1 (2001) 226-243.

We consider traveling front and pulse solutions to a system of integro-differential equations used to describe the activity of synaptically coupled neuronal networks in a single spatial dimension. Our first goal is to establish a series of direct links between the abstract nature of the equations and their interpretation in terms of experimental findings in the cortex and other brain regions. This is accomplished first by presenting a biophysically motivated derivation of the system and then by establishing a framework for comparison between numerical and experimental measures of activity propagation speed. Our second goal is to establish the existence of traveling pulse solutions using more rigorous methods. Two techniques are presented. The first, a shooting argument, reduces the problem from finding a specific solution to an integro-differential equation system to finding any solution to an Op system. The second, a singular perturbation argument, provides a construction of traveling pulse solutions under more general conditions.

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Keywords: synaptic networks, cortical activity, wave speed, shooting method, singular perturbation, negative feedback