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Persistent dynamic attractors in activity patterns of cultured neuronal networks

Wagenaar, Daniel A. and Nádasdy, Zoltan and Potter, Steve M. (2006) Persistent dynamic attractors in activity patterns of cultured neuronal networks. Physical Review E, 73 (5). Art. No. 051907. ISSN 1539-3755. PMCID PMC2570189.

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Three remarkable features of the nervous system—complex spatiotemporal patterns, oscillations, and persistent activity—are fundamental to such diverse functions as stereotypical motor behavior, working memory, and awareness. Here we report that cultured cortical networks spontaneously generate a hierarchical structure of periodic activity with a strongly stereotyped population-wide spatiotemporal structure demonstrating all three fundamental properties in a recurring pattern. During these "superbursts," the firing sequence of the culture periodically converges to a dynamic attractor orbit. Precursors of oscillations and persistent activity have previously been reported as intrinsic properties of the neurons. However, complex spatiotemporal patterns that are coordinated in a large population of neurons and persist over several hours—and thus are capable of representing and preserving information—cannot be explained by known oscillatory properties of isolated neurons. Instead, the complexity of the observed spatiotemporal patterns implies large-scale self-organization of neurons interacting in a precise temporal order even in vitro, in cultures usually considered to have random connectivity.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Wagenaar, Daniel A.0000-0002-6222-761X
Additional Information:©2006 The American Physical Society (Received 31 January 2006; published 11 May 2006) We thank Jerry Pine for useful discussions, and Sheri McKinney for technical assistance with cell culture. This work was partially supported by Grants Nos. NS38628 and NS44134 from NINDS, and EB00786 from NIBIB, and by the Whitaker Foundation and the NSF Center for Behavioral Neuroscience.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Whitaker FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:neurophysiology; bioelectric phenomena; neural nets; spatiotemporal phenomena; oscillations
Issue or Number:5
PubMed Central ID:PMC2570189
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:WAGpre06
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:3670
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:25 Jun 2006
Last Modified:02 Oct 2019 23:05

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