Functional interactions in hierarchically organized neural networks studied with spatiotemporal firing patterns and phase-coupling frequencies

Chin J Physiol. 2010 Dec 31;53(6):382-95. doi: 10.4077/cjp.2010.amm039.


A scalable hardware/software hybrid module--called Ubidule--endowed with bio-inspired ontogenetic and epigenetic features is configured to run a neural networks simulation with developmental and evolvable capabilities. We simulated the activity of hierarchically organized spiking neural networks characterized by an initial developmental phase featuring cell death followed by spike timing dependent synaptic plasticity in presence of background noise. An upstream 'sensory' network received a spatiotemporally organized external input and downstream networks were activated only via the upstream network. Precise firing sequences, formed by recurrent patterns of spikes intervals above chance levels, were observed in all recording conditions, thus suggesting the build-up of a connectivity able to sustain temporal information processing. The activity of a Ubinet--a network of Ubidules--is analyzed by means of virtual electrodes that recorded neural signals similar to EEG. The analysis of these signals was compared with a small set of human recordings and revealed common patterns of shift in quadratic phase coupling. The results suggest some interpretations of changes and plasticity of functional interactions between cortical areas driven by external stimuli and by learning/cognitive

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology
  • Neural Networks, Computer*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / physiopathology
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology
  • Time Factors