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Special Lecture on Mathematical and Computational Neuroscience
10:10 - 11:00, December 4, 2017 (Monday)
Lecture Room B, 4th Floor, The 3rd General Building, NTHU
(清華大學綜合三館 4樓B演講室)
A Robust Neural Integrator Based on the Interactions of Three Time Scales
G. Bard Ermentrout (University of Pittsburgh)


Neural integrators are circuits that are able to code analog information such as spatial location or amplitude. Storing amplitude requires the network to have a large number of attractors. In classic models with recurrent excitation, such networks require very careful tuning to behave as integrators and are not robust to small mistuning of the recurrent weights. In this talk, I introduce a circuit with recurrent connectivity that is subjected to a slow subthresholdoscillation (such as the theta rhythm in the hippocampus). I show that such a network can robustly maintain many discrete attracting states. Furthermore, the firing rates of the neurons in these attracting states are much closer to those seen in recordings of animals. I show the mechanism for this can be explained by the instability regions of the Mathieu equation. I then extend the model in various ways and, for example, show that in a spatially distributed network, it is possible to code location and amplitude simultaneously. I show that the resulting mean field equations are equivalent to a certain discontinuous differential equation.


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