A mean-field approach to the dynamics of networks of complex neurons, from nonlinear Integrate-and-Fire to Hodgkin-Huxley models

J Neurophysiol. 2020 Mar 1;123(3):1042-1051. doi: 10.1152/jn.00399.2019. Epub 2019 Dec 18.


We present a mean-field formalism able to predict the collective dynamics of large networks of conductance-based interacting spiking neurons. We apply this formalism to several neuronal models, from the simplest Adaptive Exponential Integrate-and-Fire model to the more complex Hodgkin-Huxley and Morris-Lecar models. We show that the resulting mean-field models are capable of predicting the correct spontaneous activity of both excitatory and inhibitory neurons in asynchronous irregular regimes, typical of cortical dynamics. Moreover, it is possible to quantitatively predict the population response to external stimuli in the form of external spike trains. This mean-field formalism therefore provides a paradigm to bridge the scale between population dynamics and the microscopic complexity of the individual cells physiology.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Population models are a powerful mathematical tool to study the dynamics of neuronal networks and to simulate the brain at macroscopic scales. We present a mean-field model capable of quantitatively predicting the temporal dynamics of a network of complex spiking neuronal models, from Integrate-and-Fire to Hodgkin-Huxley, thus linking population models to neurons electrophysiology. This opens a perspective on generating biologically realistic mean-field models from electrophysiological recordings.

Keywords: asynchronous irregular; cortical dynamics; mean field; population models; spiking networks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electrophysiological Phenomena / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neural Networks, Computer*
  • Neurons / physiology*