The constructive role of diversity on the global response of coupled neuron systems

Perez, Toni; Mirasso, Claudio R.; Toral, Raul; Gunton, James
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 368, 5619-5632 (2010)

We study the effect that the heterogeneity present among the elements of an ensemble of coupled excitable neurons have on the collective response of the system to an external signal. We have considered two different interaction scenarios, one in which the neurons are diffusively coupled and another in which the neurons interact via pulse-like signals. We found that the type of interaction between the neurons has a crucial role in determining the response of the system to the external modulation. We develop a mean-field theory based on an order parameter expansion that quantitatively reproduces the numerical results in the case of diffusive coupling.

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