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Document Version Version Comment Date Status
700601.0 [No comment] 19.02.2015 17:16 Released

ID: 700601.0, MPI für Dynamik und Selbstorganisation / Nichtlineare Dynamik
Spike avalanches in vivo suggest a driven, slightly subcritical brain state
Authors:Priesemann, Viola; Wibral, Michael; Valderrama, Mario; Pröpper, Robert; Le Van Quyen, Michel; Geisel, Theo; Triesch, Jochen; Nikolic, Danko; Munk, Matthias H. J.
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2014-06-24
Title of Journal:Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Sequence Number of Article:108
Review Status:Peer-review
Audience:Experts Only
Abstract / Description:In self-organized critical (SOC) systems avalanche size distributions follow power-laws. Power-laws have also been observed for neural activity, and so it has been proposed that SOC underlies brain organization as well. Surprisingly, for spiking activity in vivo, evidence for SOC is still lacking. Therefore, we analyzed highly parallel spike recordings from awake rats and monkeys, anesthetized cats, and also local field potentials from humans. We compared these to spiking activity from two established critical models: the Bak-Tang-Wiesenfeld model, and a stochastic branching model. We found fundamental differences between the neural and the model activity. These differences could be overcome for both models through a combination of three modifications: (1) subsampling, (2) increasing the input to the model (this way eliminating the separation of time scales, which is fundamental to SOC and its avalanche definition), and (3) making the model slightly sub-critical. The match between the neural activity and the modified models held not only for the classical avalanche size distributions and estimated branching parameters, but also for two novel measures (mean avalanche size, and frequency of single spikes), and for the dependence of all these measures on the temporal bin size. Our results suggest that neural activity in vivo shows a mélange of avalanches, and not temporally separated ones, and that their global activity propagation can be approximated by the principle that one spike on average triggers a little less than one spike in the next step. This implies that neural activity does not reflect a SOC state but a slightly sub-critical regime without a separation of time scales. Potential advantages of this regime may be faster information processing, and a safety margin from super-criticality, which has been linked to epilepsy.
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:Folkert Müller-Hoissen
Affiliations:MPI für Dynamik und Selbstorganisation/Nichtlineare Dynamik
External Affiliations:Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, Göttingen, Germany
Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, Frankfurt, Germany
Department of Neurophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt, Germany
Magnetoencephalography Unit, Brain Imaging Center, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany
Ernst Strüngmann Institute for Neuroscience in Cooperation with Max Planck Society, Frankfurt, Germany
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia
Neural Information Processing Group, Department of Software Engineering and Theoretical Computer Science, TU Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, Berlin, Germany
Centre de Recherche de l’Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière, Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière, INSERM UMRS 975—CNRS UMR 7225-UPMC, Paris, France
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany