Section: New Results

Neural Networks as dynamical systems

Latching dynamics in neural networks with synaptic depression

Participants : Elif Köksal Ersöz, Carlos Aguilar [Université de Nice - BCL] , Pascal Chossat [Université de Nice - LJAD, Inria MathNeuro] , Martin Krupa [Université de Nice - LJAD, UCA, Inria MathNeuro] , Frédéric Lavigne [Université de Nice - BCL] .

Prediction is the ability of the brain to quickly activate a target concept in response to a related stimulus (prime). Experiments point to the existence of an overlap between the populations of the neurons coding for different stimuli, and other experiments show that prime-target relations arise in the process of long term memory formation. The classical modelling paradigm is that long term memories correspond to stable steady states of a Hopfield network with Hebbian connectivity. Experiments show that short term synaptic depression plays an important role in the processing of memories. This leads naturally to a computational model of priming, called latching dynamics; a stable state (prime) can become unstable and the system may converge to another transiently stable steady state (target). Hopfield network models of latching dynamics have been studied by means of numerical simulation, however the conditions for the existence of this dynamics have not been elucidated. In this work we use a combination of analytic and numerical approaches to confirm that latching dynamics can exist in the context of a symmetric Hebbian learning rule, however lacks robustness and imposes a number of biologically unrealistic restrictions on the model. In particular our work shows that the symmetry of the Hebbian rule is not an obstruction to the existence of latching dynamics, however fine tuning of the parameters of the model is needed.

A natural follow-up of the work which has lead to the article [1] has been initiated through the postdoc project of Elif Köksal Ersöz. The objective is to extend the previous results in several ways. First, to gain more robustness in the heteroclinic chains sustained by the network model. Second, to be able to simulate much larger networks and exhibit heteroclinic dynamics in them. Third, to link with experimental data. The postdoc of Elif Köksal Ersöz, which finished at the end of December 2018, has been funded by the “tail” of the ERC Advanced Grant NerVi held by Olivier Faugeras.

Pseudo-simple heteroclinic cycles in 4

Participants : Pascal Chossat [Université de Nice - LJAD, Inria MathNeuro] , Alexander Lohse [Universität Hamburg, Germany] , Olga Podvigina [Institute of Earthquake Prediction Theory and Mathematical Geophysics, Russia] .

We study pseudo-simple heteroclinic cycles for a Γ-equivariant system in 4 with finite ΓO(4), and their nearby dynamics. In particular, in a first step towards a full classification – analogous to that which exists already for the class of simple cycles – we identify all finite subgroups of O(4) admitting pseudo-simple cycles. To this end we introduce a constructive method to build equivariant dynamical systems possessing a robust heteroclinic cycle. Extending a previous study we also investigate the existence of periodic orbits close to a pseudo-simple cycle, which depends on the symmetry groups of equilibria in the cycle. Moreover, we identify subgroups ΓO(4), Γ¬SO(4), admitting fragmentarily asymptotically stable pseudo-simple heteroclinic cycles (It has been previously shown that for ΓSO(4) pseudo-simple cycles generically are completely unstable). Finally, we study a generalized heteroclinic cycle, which involves a pseudo-simple cycle as a subset.

This work has been published in Physica D and is available as [13].

Qualitative stability and synchronicity analysis of power network models in port-Hamiltonian form

Participants : Volker Mehrmann [Technical University of Berlin, Germany] , Riccardo Morandin [Technical University of Berlin, Germany] , Simona Olmi, Eckehard Schöll [Technical University of Berlin, Germany] .

In view of highly decentralized and diversified power generation concepts, in particular with renewable energies, the analysis and control of the stability and the synchronization of power networks is an important topic that requires different levels of modeling detail for different tasks. A frequently used qualitative approach relies on simplified nonlinear network models like the Kuramoto model with inertia. The usual formulation in the form of a system of coupled ordinary differential equations is not always adequate. We present a new energy-based formulation of the Kuramoto model with inertia as a polynomial port-Hamiltonian system of differential-algebraic equations, with a quadratic Hamiltonian function including a generalized order parameter. This leads to a robust representation of the system with respect to disturbances: it encodes the underlying physics, such as the dissipation inequality or the deviation from synchronicity, directly in the structure of the equations, and it explicitly displays all possible constraints and allows for robust simulation methods. The model is immersed into a system of model hierarchies that will be helpful for applying adaptive simulations in future works. We illustrate the advantages of the modified modeling approach with analytics and numerical results.

This work has been published in Chaos and is available as [18].

Collective behavior of oscillating electric dipoles

Participants : Simona Olmi, Matteo Gori [Centre de Physique Théorique, Marseille] , Irene Donato [Centre de Physique Théorique, Marseille] , Marco Pettini [Centre de Physique Théorique, Marseille] .

We investigate the dynamics of a population of identical biomolecules mimicked as electric dipoles with random orientations and positions in space and oscillating with their intrinsic frequencies. The biomolecules, beyond being coupled among themselves via the dipolar interaction, are also driven by a common external energy supply. A collective mode emerges by decreasing the average distance among the molecules as testified by the emergence of a clear peak in the power spectrum of the total dipole moment. This is due to a coherent vibration of the most part of the molecules at a frequency definitely larger than their own frequencies corresponding to a partial cluster synchronization of the biomolecules. These results can be verified experimentally via spectroscopic investigations of the strength of the intermolecular electrodynamic interactions, thus being able to test the possible biological relevance of the observed macroscopic mode.

This work has been published in Scientific Reports and is available as [19].

Controlling seizure propagation in large-scale brain networks

Participants : Simona Olmi, Spase Petkoski [Institut de Neurosciences des Systèmes, Marseille] , Maxime Guye [Centre d'Exploration Métabolique par Résonance Magnétique, Marseille] , Fabrice Bartolomei [Epilepsies, Lésions Cérébrales et Systèmes Neuraux de la Cognition, Marseille] , Viktor Jirsa [Institut de Neurosciences des Systèmes, Marseille] .

Information transmission in the human brain is a fundamentally dynamic network process. In partial epilepsy, this process is perturbed and highly synchronous seizures originate in a local network, the so-called epileptogenic zone (EZ), before recruiting other close or distant brain regions. We studied patient-specific brain network models of 15 drug-resistant epilepsy patients with implanted stereotactic electroencephalography (SEEG) electrodes. Each personalized brain model was derived from structural data of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diffusion tensor weighted imaging (DTI), comprising 88 nodes equipped with region specific neural mass models capable of demonstrating a range of epileptiform discharges. Each patients virtual brain was further personalized through the integration of the clinically hypothesized EZ. Subsequent simulations and connectivity modulations were performed and uncovered a finite repertoire of seizure propagation patterns. Across patients, we found that (i) patient-specific network connectivity is predictive for the subsequent seizure propagation pattern; (ii) seizure propagation is characterized by a systematic sequence of brain states; (iii) propagation can be controlled by an optimal intervention on the connectivity matrix; (iv) the degree of invasiveness can be significantly reduced via the here proposed seizure control as compared to traditional resective surgery. To stop seizures, neurosurgeons typically resect the EZ completely. We showed that stability analysis of the network dynamics using graph theoretical metrics estimates reliably the spatiotemporal properties of seizure propagation. This suggests novel less invasive paradigms of surgical interventions to treat and manage partial epilepsy.

This work has been submitted for publication and is available as [28].

Effect of disorder and noise in shaping the dynamics of power grids

Participants : Liudmila Tumash [Technical University of Berlin, Germany] , Simona Olmi, Eckehard Schöll [Technical University of Berlin, Germany] .

The aim of this paper is to investigate complex dynamic networks which can model high-voltage power grids with renewable, fluctuating energy sources. For this purpose we use the Kuramoto model with inertia to model the network of power plants and consumers. In particular, we analyse the synchronization transition of networks of N phase oscillators with inertia (rotators) whose natural frequencies are bimodally distributed, corresponding to the distribution of generator and consumer power. First, we start from globally coupled networks whose links are successively diluted, resulting in a random Erdös-Renyi network. We focus on the changes in the hysteretic loop while varying inertial mass and dilution. Second, we implement Gaussian white noise describing the randomly fluctuating input power, and investigate its role in shaping the dynamics. Finally, we briefly discuss power grid networks under the impact of both topological disorder and external noise sources.

This work has been published in Europhysics Letters and is available as [20].