"Spontaneous episodic activity is a fundamental mode of operation of developing networks. Surprisingly, the duration of an episode of activity correlates with the length of the silent interval that precedes it, but not with the interval that follows. ... We thus developed simple models incorporating excitatory coupling between heterogeneous neurons and activity-dependent synaptic depression. These models robustly generated episodic activity with the correct correlation pattern. The correlation pattern resulted from episodes being triggered at random levels of recovery from depression while they terminated around the same level of depression. To explain this fundamental difference between episode onset and termination, we used a mean field model, where only average activity and average level of recovery from synaptic depression are considered. ... This work further shows that networks with widely different architectures, different cell types, and different functions all operate according to the same general mechanism early in their development."
Model Concept(s): Development
Simulation Environment: XPP (web link to model)