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Pulsating fronts in periodically modulated neural field models

Coombes, Stephen; Laing, Carlo


Carlo Laing


We consider a coarse grained neural field model for synaptic activity in spatially extended cortical tissue that possesses an underlying periodicity in its microstructure. The model is written as an integro-differential equation with periodic modulation of a translationally-invariant spatial kernel. This modulation can have a strong effect on wave propagation through the tissue, including the creation of pulsating fronts with widely-varying speeds, and wave-propagation failure. Here we develop new analysis for the study of such phenomena, using two complementary techniques. The first uses linearized information from the leading edge of a traveling periodic wave to obtain wave speed estimates for pulsating fronts, and the second develops an interface description for waves in the full nonlinear model. For weak modulation and a Heaviside firing rate function the interface dynamics can be analyzed exactly, and gives predictions which are in excellent agreement with direct numerical simulations. Importantly, the interface dynamics description improves upon the standard homogenization calculation, which is restricted to modulation that is both fast and weak.


Coombes, S., & Laing, C. (in press). Pulsating fronts in periodically modulated neural field models. Physical Review E, Article 011912.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 5, 2010
Online Publication Date Jan 21, 2011
Deposit Date Jan 11, 2011
Publicly Available Date Jan 21, 2011
Journal Physical Review E
Print ISSN 2470-0045
Electronic ISSN 1539-3755
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Article Number 011912
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copyright American Physical Society


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