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Modeling spike-wave discharge initiation in the brain thalamocortical system by small networks of neurooscillators

Kapustnikov A.A.
Sysoeva M.V.
Sysoev I.V.


The pathology of coupling architecture in the thalamo-cortical system is considered as a main cause of absence epilepsy, which manifests itself on the electroencephalogram in the form of spike-wave discharges. The immediate cause of the onset of the discharge may be an increase in interactions within the cortex or external stimulation of the cortex or thalamus. In this case, the mechanisms of discharge termination are still not clear; therefore, from the point of view of nonlinear dynamics, a spike-wave discharge can be considered a long transient process. This paper proposes a simple mathematical model of 14 identical FitzHugh-Nagumo neurons, organized in accordance with modern concepts of the thalamo-cortical network of the brain. This model is proved to generate long transient processes in response to a short-term impulse action from an individual neuron (trigeminal nerve). Bifurcation analysis showe that such transient processes develop in the system in the vicinity of the cycle birth bifurcation from the condensation of phase trajectories. The model should be useful as a component of more detailed models of the thalamo-cortical system, created for fundamental purposes and for testing the effects of electrical brain stimulation, pharmacological interventions, and connectivity detection in the brain.


Anton Kapustnikov
Saratov Branch of Kotelnikov Institute of Radioengineering and Electronics of Russian Academy of Sciences


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