Modular architecture facilitates noise-driven control of synchrony in neuronal networks

Sci Adv. 2023 Aug 25;9(34):eade1755. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.ade1755. Epub 2023 Aug 25.


High-level information processing in the mammalian cortex requires both segregated processing in specialized circuits and integration across multiple circuits. One possible way to implement these seemingly opposing demands is by flexibly switching between states with different levels of synchrony. However, the mechanisms behind the control of complex synchronization patterns in neuronal networks remain elusive. Here, we use precision neuroengineering to manipulate and stimulate networks of cortical neurons in vitro, in combination with an in silico model of spiking neurons and a mesoscopic model of stochastically coupled modules to show that (i) a modular architecture enhances the sensitivity of the network to noise delivered as external asynchronous stimulation and that (ii) the persistent depletion of synaptic resources in stimulated neurons is the underlying mechanism for this effect. Together, our results demonstrate that the inherent dynamical state in structured networks of excitable units is determined by both its modular architecture and the properties of the external inputs.

PMID:37624893 | PMC:PMC10456864 | DOI:10.1126/sciadv.ade1755


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