Bistability and up/down state alternations in inhibition-dominated randomly connected networks of LIF neurons.
Electrophysiological recordings in cortex in vivo have revealed a rich variety of dynamical regimes ranging from irregular asynchronous states to a diversity of synchronized states, depending on species, anesthesia, and external stimulation. The average population firing rate in these states is typically low. We study analytically and numerically a network of sparsely connected excitatory and inhibitory integrate-and-fire neurons in the inhibition-dominated, low firing rate regime. For sufficiently high values of the external input, the network exhibits an asynchronous low firing frequency state (L). Depending on synaptic time constants, we show that two scenarios may occur when external inputs are decreased: (1) the L state can destabilize through a Hopf bifucation as the external input is decreased, leading to synchronized oscillations spanning d δ to β frequencies; (2) the network can reach a bistable region, between the low firing frequency network state (L) and a quiescent one (Q). Adding an adaptation current to excitatory neurons leads to spontaneous alternations between L and Q states, similar to experimental observations on UP and DOWN states alternations.
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