Biological experimental demonstration of bifurcations from bursting to spiking predicted by theoretical models

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-407
Journal / PublicationNonlinear Dynamics
Issue number1
Online published24 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


A series of bifurcations from period-1 bursting to period-1 spiking in a complex (or simple) process were observed with increasing extra-cellular potassium concentration during biological experiments on different neural pacemakers. This complex process is composed of three parts: period-adding sequences of burstings, chaotic bursting to chaotic spiking, and an inverse period-doubling bifurcation of spiking patterns. Six cases of bifurcations with complex processes distinguished by period-adding sequences with stochastic or chaotic burstings that can reach different bursting patterns, and three cases of bifurcations with simple processes, without the transition from chaotic bursting to chaotic spiking, were identified. It reveals the structures closely matching those simulated in a two-dimensional parameter space of the Hindmarsh–Rose model, by increasing one parameter I and fixing another parameter r at different values. The experimental bifurcations also resembled those simulated in a physiologically based model, the Chay model. The experimental observations not only reveal the nonlinear dynamics of the firing patterns of neural pacemakers but also provide experimental evidence of the existence of bifurcations from bursting to spiking simulated in the theoretical models.

Research Area(s)

  • Bifurcation, Bursting, Chaos, Neural firing, Period-adding bifurcation, Spiking