# Spike-time reliability of layered neural oscillator networks

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## Abstract

We study the *reliability* of layered networks of coupled “type I” neural oscillators in response to fluctuating input signals. Reliability means that a signal elicits essentially identical responses upon repeated presentations, regardless of the network’s initial condition. We study reliability on two distinct scales: *neuronal reliability*, which concerns the repeatability of spike times of individual neurons embedded within a network, and *pooled-response reliability*, which concerns the repeatability of total synaptic outputs from a subpopulation of the neurons in a network. We find that neuronal reliability depends strongly both on the overall architecture of a network, such as whether it is arranged into one or two layers, and on the strengths of the synaptic connections. Specifically, for the type of single-neuron dynamics and coupling considered, single-layer networks are found to be very reliable, while two-layer networks lose their reliability with the introduction of even a small amount of feedback. As expected, pooled responses for large enough populations become more reliable, even when individual neurons are not. We also study the effects of noise on reliability, and find that noise that affects all neurons similarly has much greater impact on reliability than noise that affects each neuron differently. Qualitative explanations are proposed for the phenomena observed.

## Keywords

Spike-time reliability Spiking neural network Neural oscillator Theta neuron Chaos Stochastic dynamics Random dynamical systems## Notes

### Acknowledgements

We thank David Cai, Anne-Marie Oswald, Alex Reyes, and John Rinzel for their helpful discussions of this material. We acknowledge a Career Award at the Scientific Interface from the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund (E.S.-B.), and a grant from the NSF (L.-S.Y.).

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