Macroscopic dynamics of neural networks with heterogeneous spiking thresholds

Richard Gast, Sara A. Solla, Ann Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Mean-field theory links the physiological properties of individual neurons to the emergent dynamics of neural population activity. These models provide an essential tool for studying brain function at different scales; however, for their application to neural populations on large scale, they need to account for differences between distinct neuron types. The Izhikevich single neuron model can account for a broad range of different neuron types and spiking patterns, thus rendering it an optimal candidate for a mean-field theoretic treatment of brain dynamics in heterogeneous networks. Here we derive the mean-field equations for networks of all-to-all coupled Izhikevich neurons with heterogeneous spiking thresholds. Using methods from bifurcation theory, we examine the conditions under which the mean-field theory accurately predicts the dynamics of the Izhikevich neuron network. To this end, we focus on three important features of the Izhikevich model that are subject here to simplifying assumptions: (i) spike-frequency adaptation, (ii) the spike reset conditions, and (iii) the distribution of single-cell spike thresholds across neurons. Our results indicate that, while the mean-field model is not an exact model of the Izhikevich network dynamics, it faithfully captures its different dynamic regimes and phase transitions. We thus present a mean-field model that can represent different neuron types and spiking dynamics. The model comprises biophysical state variables and parameters, incorporates realistic spike resetting conditions, and accounts for heterogeneity in neural spiking thresholds. These features allow for a broad applicability of the model as well as for a direct comparison to experimental data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024306
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability


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