Controlling synchronization in a neuron-level population model

Niranjan Chakravarthy, Shivkumar Sabesan, Leon Iasemidis, Konstantinos Tsakalis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


We have studied coupled neural populations in an effort to understand basic mechanisms that maintain their normal synchronization level despite changes in the inter-population coupling levels. Towards this goal, we have incorporated coupling and internal feedback structures in a neuron-level population model from the literature. We study two forms of internal feedback -regulation of excitation, and compensation of excessive excitation with inhibition. We show that normal feedback actions quickly regulate/compensate an abnormally high coupling between the neural populations, whereas a, pathology in these feedback actions can lead to abnormal synchronization and "seizure"-like high amplitude oscillations. We then develop an external control paradigm, termed feedback decoupling, as a, robust synchronization control strategy. The external feedback decoupling controller acts to achieve the operational objective of maintaining normal-level synchronous behavior irrespective of the pathology in the internal feedback mechanisms. Results from such an analysis have an interesting physical interpretation and specific implications for the treatment of diseases such as epilepsy. The proposed remedy is consistent with a variety of recent observations in the human and animal epileptic brain, and with theories from nonlinear systems, adaptive systems, optimization, and neurophysiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-138
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Neural Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Computational neurophysiological model
  • Epileptic seizures
  • Feedback control
  • Neural synchronization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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