Macroscopic coherent structures in a stochastic neural network: from interface dynamics to coarse-grained bifurcation analysis

Journal of Mathematical Biology
Daniele Avitable, Kyle C A Wedgwood


We study coarse pattern formation in a cellular automaton modelling a spatially-extended stochastic neural network. The model, originally proposed by Gong and Robinson (Phys Rev E 85(5):055,101(R), 2012), is known to support stationary and travelling bumps of localised activity. We pose the model on a ring and study the existence and stability of these patterns in various limits using a combination of analytical and numerical techniques. In a purely deterministic version of the model, posed on a continuum, we construct bumps and travelling waves analytically using standard interface methods from neural field theory. In a stochastic version with Heaviside firing rate, we construct approximate analytical probability mass functions associated with bumps and travelling waves. In the full stochastic model posed on a discrete lattice, where a coarse analytic description is unavailable, we compute patterns and their linear stability using equation-free methods. The lifting procedure used in the coarse time-stepper is informed by the analysis in the deterministic and stochastic limits. In all settings, we identify the synaptic profile as a mesoscopic variable, and the width of the corresponding activity set as a macroscopic variable. S...Continue Reading


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