Can scale-freeness offset delayed signal detection in neuronal networks?
1 Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Bülent Ecevit University - 67100 Zonguldak, Turkey
2 Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Maribor - Koroška cesta 160, SI-2000 Maribor, Slovenia
Received: 29 September 2013
Accepted: 11 March 2014
First-spike latency following stimulus onset is of significant physiological relevance. Neurons transmit information about their inputs by transforming them into spike trains, and the timing of these spike trains is in turn crucial for effectively encoding that information. Random processes and uncertainty that underly neuronal dynamics have been shown to prolong the time towards the first response in a phenomenon dubbed noise-delayed decay. Here we study whether Hodgkin-Huxley neurons with a tunable intensity of intrinsic noise might have shorter response times to external stimuli just above threshold if placed on a scale-free network. We show that the heterogeneity of the interaction network may indeed eradicate slow responsiveness, but only if the coupling between individual neurons is sufficiently strong. Increasing the average degree also favors a fast response, but it is less effective than increasing the coupling strength. We also show that noise-delayed decay can be offset further by adjusting the frequency of the external signal, as well as by blocking a fraction of voltage-gated sodium or potassium ion channels. For certain conditions, we observe a double peak in the response time depending on the intensity of intrinsic noise, indicating competition between local and global effects on the neuronal dynamics.
PACS: 05.40.-a – Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion / 89.75.Hc – Networks and genealogical trees / 89.75.Fb – Structures and organization in complex systems
© EPLA, 2014