Synaptic balance due to homeostatically self-organized quasicritical dynamics

Published in Phys. Rev. Research, 2020

Recommended citation: M. Girardi-Schappo, L. Brochini, A. Costa, T. Carvalho, O. Kinouchi (2020): Synaptic balance due to homeostatically self-organized quasicritical dynamics. Phys. Rev. Research 2: 012042(R).

Recent experiments suggested that a homeostatic regulation of synaptic balance leads the visual system to recover and maintain a regime of power-law avalanches. Here we study an excitatory/inhibitory (E/I) mean-field neuronal network that has a critical point with power-law avalanches and synaptic balance. When short-term depression in inhibitory synapses and firing threshold adaptation are added, the system hovers around the critical point. This homeostatically self-organized quasicritical (SOqC) dynamics generates E/I synaptic current cancellation in fast timescales, causing fluctuation-driven asynchronous-irregular (AI) firing. We present the full phase diagram of the model without adaptation varying external input versus synaptic coupling. This system has a rich dynamical repertoire of spiking patterns: synchronous regular (SR), asynchronous regular (AR), synchronous irregular (SI), slow oscillations (SO), and AI. It also presents dynamic balance of synaptic currents, since inhibitory currents try and compensate excitatory currents over time, resulting in both of them scaling linearly with external input. Our model thus unifies two different perspectives on cortical spontaneous activity: both critical avalanches and fluctuation-driven AI firing arise from SOqC homeostatic adaptation and are indeed two sides of the same coin.