student profile: Miss Yuxi Liu


Thesis work

Thesis title: Gamma oscillations as dynamical patterns for optimally implementing distributed information communication

Supervisors: Pulin GONG , Peter ROBINSON

Thesis abstract:

Gamma oscillations (30 – 90 Hz) have been widely observed in many brain areas, but their dynamical nature and functions remain a matter of debate. In this study, we investigate a spatially extended, spiking neural network model with realistic connectivity features, and find that gamma oscillations can emerge when the network is near the transition from asynchronous to propagating wave states. In this critical regime, gamma oscillations are organized as propagating patterns with metastable dynamics. We further show that such metastable gamma patterns generate intermittent gamma bursts, with their statistical properties consistent with empirical results. The dynamics of these intermittent gamma patterns can also account for why there are great fluctuations in the amplitude and frequency of gamma oscillations, as found in experimental studies. By using information-theoretical analyses, we then demonstrate that the metastable gamma patterns are optimal for communicating information to multiple sites of the network within a given time interval.

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