Topographic organization of Hebbian neural connections by synchronous wave activity

Eugene Mihaliuk, Renate Wackerbauer, Kenneth Showalter
2001 Chaos  
Experimental studies have revealed that the refinement of early, imprecise connections in the developing visual system involves activity in the retina before the onset of vision. We study the evolution of initially random unidirectional connections between two excitable layers of FitzHugh-Nagumo neurons with simulated spontaneous activity in the input layer. Lateral coupling within the layers yields synchronous neural wave activity that serves as a template for the Hebbian learning process,
more » ... arning process, which establishes topographically precise interlayer connections. Topographically organized patterns of neural connections in which neighboring neurons project to neighboring sites in the target occur throughout the nervous system. 1 In the vertebrate visual system, the retina sends images to be further processed in the lateral geniculate nucleus "LGN.... The required topographically precise connection network develops by processes that are not fully understood but are believed to involve electrical activity in the retina before the onset of vision. 2 We find a rapid topographic reorganization in a simple model system of two coupled neural layers, with initially imperfect interlayer connections, arising from synchronous wave activity due to lateral diffusive coupling within the layers and from Hebbian learning in the coupling between the layers. a͒ Electronic
doi:10.1063/1.1345726 pmid:12779462 fatcat:45jnb5hgvbce3mxhew5werfmhq