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Working memory dynamics and spontaneous activity in a flip-flop oscillations network model with a Milnor attractor

Authors
Journal
Cognitive Neurodynamics
1871-4080
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Volume
3
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s11571-009-9078-0
Keywords
  • Research Article
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Philosophy

Abstract

Many cognitive tasks require the ability to maintain and manipulate simultaneously several chunks of information. Numerous neurobiological observations have reported that this ability, known as the working memory, is associated with both a slow oscillation (leading to the up and down states) and the presence of the theta rhythm. Furthermore, during resting state, the spontaneous activity of the cortex exhibits exquisite spatiotemporal patterns sharing similar features with the ones observed during specific memory tasks. Here to enlighten neural implication of working memory under these complicated dynamics, we propose a phenomenological network model with biologically plausible neural dynamics and recurrent connections. Each unit embeds an internal oscillation at the theta rhythm which can be triggered during up-state of the membrane potential. As a result, the resting state of a single unit is no longer a classical fixed point attractor but rather the Milnor attractor, and multiple oscillations appear in the dynamics of a coupled system. In conclusion, the interplay between the up and down states and theta rhythm endows high potential in working memory operation associated with complexity in spontaneous activities.

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