Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Computational Neuroscience





First Page


Last Page




Date of Submission

January 2016


Heterogeneity of neural attributes has recently gained a lot of attention and is increasing recognized as a crucial feature in neural processing. Despite its importance, this physiological feature has traditionally been neglected in theoretical studies of cortical neural networks. Thus, there is still a lot unknown about the consequences of cellular and circuit heterogeneity in spiking neural networks. In particular, combining network or synaptic heterogeneity and intrinsic heterogeneity has yet to be considered systematically despite the fact that both are known to exist and likely have significant roles in neural network dynamics. In a canonical recurrent spiking neural network model, we study how these two forms of heterogeneity lead to different distributions of excitatory firing rates. To analytically characterize how these types of heterogeneities affect the network, we employ a dimension reduction method that relies on a combination of Monte Carlo simulations and probability density function equations. We find that the relationship between intrinsic and network heterogeneity has a strong effect on the overall level of heterogeneity of the firing rates. Specifically, this relationship can lead to amplification or attenuation of firing rate heterogeneity, and these effects depend on whether the recurrent network is firing asynchronously or rhythmically firing. These observations are captured with the aforementioned reduction method, and furthermore simpler analytic descriptions based on this dimension reduction method are developed. The final analytic descriptions provide compact and descriptive formulas for how the relationship between intrinsic and network heterogeneity determines the firing rate heterogeneity dynamics in various settings.

Is Part Of

VCU Statistical Sciences and Operations Research Publications