Uncovering bifurcation patterns in cortical synapses

Michael Small, Hugh P.C. Robinson, Ingo C. Kleppe, Chi Kong Tse

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Individual cortical synapses are known to exhibit a very complex short-time dynamic behaviour in response to simple "naturalistic" stimulation. We describe a computational study of the experimentally obtained excitatory post-synaptic potential trains of individual cortical synapses. By adopting a new nonlinear modelling scheme we construct robust and repeatable models of the underlying dynamics. These models suggest that cortical synapses exhibit a wide range of either periodic or chaotic dynamics. For stimulus at a fixed rate our models predict that the response of the individual synapse will vary from a fixed point to periodic and chaotic, depending on the frequency of stimulus. Dynamics for individual synapses vary widely, suggesting that the individual behaviour of synapses is highly tuned and that the dynamic behaviour of even a small network of synapse-coupled neurons could be extremely varied.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-526
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Mathematical Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • Bifurcation and chaos
  • Cortical synaptic transmission
  • Modelling
  • Nonlinear time series analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Mathematics


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