5 years ago

Multistability in the corticothalamic system

Neural field theory of the corticothalamic system is used to analyze the properties of its steady-state solutions, including their linear stability, in the parameter space of synaptic couplings for physiological parameter ranges representing normal arousal waking states in adult humans. The independent connections of the corticothalamic model define an eight-dimensional parameter space, while specific combinations of these connections parameterize intracortical, corticothalamic, and intrathalamic loops. Multistable regions are systematically identified and the existence of up to five steady-state solutions is confirmed, up to three of which are linearly stable. A key determinant for the existence of five steady states is found to be the number of nonzero connections. This finding had not been previously proposed as the determining factor of high multiplicities of multistability in mesoscopic models of the brain. In the corticothalamic model presented here, multistability occurs when the intrathalamic loop is present (i.e., the reticular nucleus inhibits the relay nuclei), and when the net synaptic effect of the intracortical loop is inhibitory. The signature of these additional waking states is an overall increased level of thalamic activity. It is argued that the additional steady states found may represent hyperarousal states which occur when the corticothalamic projections do not attenuate the activity of the cortex.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0022519317303478

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