Synchronization patterns in modular neuronal networks: a case study of C. elegans

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Pournaki, Armin
Merfort, Leon
Ruiz, Jorge
Kouvaris, Nikos E.
Hövel, Philipp
Hizanidis, Johanne
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Frontiers Media
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We investigate synchronization patterns and chimera-like states in the modular multilayer topology of the connectome of Caenorhabditis elegans. In the special case of a designed network with two layers, one with electrical intra-community links and one with chemical inter-community links, chimera-like states are known to exist. Aiming at a more biological approach based on the actual connectivity data, we consider a network consisting of two synaptic (electrical and chemical) and one extrasynaptic (wireless) layers. Analyzing the structure and properties of this layered network using Multilayer-Louvain community detection, we identify modules whose nodes are more strongly coupled with each other than with the rest of the network. Based on this topology, we study the dynamics of coupled Hindmarsh-Rose neurons. Emerging synchronization patterns are quantified using the pairwise Euclidean distances between the values of all oscillators, locally within each community and globally across the network. We find a tendency of the wireless coupling to moderate the average coherence of the system: for stronger wireless coupling, the levels of synchronization decrease both locally and globally, and chimera-like states are not favored. By introducing an alternative method to define meaningful communities based on the dynamical correlations of the nodes, we obtain a structure that is dominated by two large communities. This promotes the emergence of chimera-like states and allows to relate the dynamics of the corresponding neurons to biological neuronal functions such as motor activities.
Synchronization , Multilayer network , Chimera state , Neuronal oscillators , Metastability , Community detection
Pournaki, A., Merfort, L., Ruiz, J., Kouvaris, N. E., Hövel, P. and Hizanidis, J. (2019) 'Synchronization Patterns in Modular Neuronal Networks: A Case Study of C. elegans', Frontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics, 5, 52. (19pp.) doi: 10.3389/fams.2019.00052