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Year: 2009  |  Volume: 25  |  Issue: 13  |  Page No.: 1680 - 1685

Systematic analysis of synchronized oscillatory neuronal networks reveals an enrichment for coupled direct and indirect feedback motifs

C. Y Dong, J Lim, Y Nam and K. H. Cho


Motivation: Synchronized bursting behavior is a remarkable phenomenon in neural dynamics. So, identification of the underlying functional structure is crucial to understand its regulatory mechanism at a system level. On the other hand, we noted that feedback loops (FBLs) are commonly used basic building blocks in engineering circuit design, especially for synchronization, and they have also been considered as important regulatory network motifs in systems biology. From these motivations, we have investigated the relationship between synchronized bursting behavior and feedback motifs in neural networks.

Results: Through extensive simulations of synthetic spike oscillation models, we found that a particular structure of FBLs, coupled direct and indirect positive feedback loops (PFLs), can induce robust synchronized bursting behaviors. To further investigate this, we have developed a novel FBL identification method based on sampled time-series data and applied it to synchronized spiking records measured from cultured neural networks of rat by using multi-electrode array. As a result, we have identified coupled direct and indirect PFLs.

Conclusion: We therefore conclude that coupled direct and indirect PFLs might be an important design principle that causes the synchronized bursting behavior in neuronal networks although an extrapolation of this result to in vivo brain dynamics still remains an unanswered question.

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