Does the phenomenon of stochastic amplification of fluctuations play a relevant role in cortical dynamics?

J. Hidalgo, L.F. Seoane, J.M. Cortes and M.A. Muñoz. Does the phenomenon of stochastic amplification of fluctuations play a relevant role in cortical dynamics? AIP Conference Proceedings 1510: 94-100, 2012 [pdf]

We review the mechanism of stochastic amplification of fluctuations in the context of fast cortical oscillations observed during up-states both in vitro and in vivo. For this purpose, we employ minimalistic models based on short-time synaptic depression with or without synaptic facilitation and compare results with empirical observations. The phenomenon of stochastic amplification of fluctuations is shown to be relevant and robust against different regulatory mechanisms and model specificities. In particular, by introducing synaptic facilitation as a possible manner to dynamically tune the synaptic efficacy, we show that, beyond resonancy details, the mechanism responsible for stochastic amplification is robust and persists along a wide range in the synaptic parameters space. In passing, we explain why a similar stochastic amplification cannot possibly be observed in cortical down-states.

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