pyrates

Quadratic Integrate-and-Fire (QIF) Neuron Mean-Field Model

Here, we will introduce the QIF population mean-field model, which has been derived from a population of all-to-all coupled QIF neurons in [1]. The model equations are given by:

\tau \dot r &= \frac{\Delta}{\pi\tau} + 2 r v,

\tau \dot v &= v^2 +\bar\eta + I(t) + J r \tau - (\pi r \tau)^2,

where r is the average firing rate and v is the average membrane potential of the QIF population [1]. It is governed by 4 parameters:

  • \tau –> the population time constant
  • \bar \eta –> the mean of a Lorenzian distribution over the neural excitability in the population
  • \Delta –> the half-width at half maximum of the Lorenzian distribution over the neural excitability
  • J –> the strength of the recurrent coupling inside the population

This mean-field model is an exact representation of the macroscopic firing rate and membrane potential dynamics of a spiking neural network consisting of QIF neurons with Lorentzian distributed background excitabilities. While the mean-field derivation is mathematically only valid for all-to-all coupled populations of infinite size, it has been shown that there is a close correspondence between the mean-field model and neural populations with sparse coupling and population sizes of a few thousand neurons [2]. In the same work, it has been demonstrated how to extend the model by adding synaptic dynamics or additional adaptation currents to the single cell network, that can be carried through the mean-field derivation performed in [1]. For example, a QIF population with spike-frequency adaptation would be given by the following 3D system:

\tau \dot r &= \frac{\Delta}{\pi\tau} + 2 r v,

\tau \dot v &= v^2 +\bar\eta + I(t) + J r \tau - a - (\pi r \tau)^2,

\tau_a \dot a &= -a + \alpha \tau_a r,

where the evolution equation for a expresses a convolution of r with a mono-exponential kernel, with adaptation strength \alpha and time constant \tau_a.

In the sections below, we will demonstrate for each model how to load the model template into pyrates, perform simulations with it and visualize the results.

References

[1](1, 2, 3, 4) E. Montbrió, D. Pazó, A. Roxin (2015) Macroscopic description for networks of spiking neurons. Physical Review X, 5:021028, https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevX.5.021028.
[2](1, 2) R. Gast, H. Schmidt, T.R. Knösche (2020) A Mean-Field Description of Bursting Dynamics in Spiking Neural Networks with Short-Term Adaptation. Neural Computation 32 (9): 1615-1634.

Basic QIF Model

We will start out by a tutorial of how to use the QIF model without adaptation. To this end, we will use the high-level interfaces from PyRates which allow to perform model loading and simulation in a single step. For a step-to-step tutorial of the more low-level interfaces, have a look at the Jansen-Rit example.

Step 1: Numerical simulation of a the model behavior in time

Here, we use the integrate function imported from PyRates. As a first argument to this function, either a path to a YAML-based model definition or a CircuitTemplate instance can be provided. The function will then compile the model and solve the initial value problem of the above defined differential equations for a time interval from 0 to the given simulation time. This solution will be calculated numerically by a differential equation solver in the backend, starting with a defined step-size. Here, we use the default backend and solver. Furthermore, we provide a step-function extrinsic input that excites all QIF neurons in a time window from start to stop. This input is defined on a time vector with fixed time steps of size step_size. Check out the arguments of the code:CircuitTemplate.run() method for a detailed explanation of the arguments that you can use to adjust this numerical procedure.

from pyrates import integrate
import numpy as np

# define simulation time and input start and stop
T = 100.0
step_size = 5e-4
start = 20.0
stop = 80.0

# extrinsic input definition
steps = int(np.round(T/step_size))
I_ext = np.zeros((steps,))
I_ext[int(start/step_size):int(stop/step_size)] = 3.0

# perform simulation
results = integrate("model_templates.neural_mass_models.qif.qif", step_size=step_size, simulation_time=T,
                    outputs={'r': 'p/qif_op/r'}, inputs={'p/qif_op/I_ext': I_ext}, clear=True)

Step 2: Visualization of the solution

The output of the simulate() function is a pandas.Dataframe, which allows for direct plotting of the timeseries it contains. This timeseries represents the numerical solution of the initial value problem solved in step 1 with respect to the state variable r of the model. You can observe that the model expresses hysteresis and converges to a different steady-state after the input is turned off, than the steady-state it started from when the input was turned on. This behavior has been described in detail in [1].

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
fig, ax = plt.subplots()
ax.plot(results)
ax.set_xlabel('time')
ax.set_ylabel('r')

QIF SFA Model

Now, lets have a look at the QIF model with spike-frequency adaptation. We will follow the same steps as outlined above.

results2 = integrate("model_templates.neural_mass_models.qif.qif_sfa", simulation_time=T, step_size=step_size,
                     outputs={'r': 'p/qif_sfa_op/r'}, inputs={'p/qif_sfa_op/I_ext': I_ext}, clear=True)

fig2, ax2 = plt.subplots()
ax2.plot(results2)
ax2.set_xlabel('time')
ax2.set_ylabel('r')
plt.show()

you can see that, by adding the adaptation variable to the model, we introduced synchronized bursting behavior to the model. Check out [2] if you would like to test out some different parameter regimes and would like to know what kind of model behavior to expect if you make changes to the adaptation parameters. To change the parameters, you need to derive a new operator template from the given operator template in a yaml file and simply set the parameter you would like to change. For a detailed introduction on how to handle model definitions via YAML files, have a look at the model definition gallery.

Total running time of the script: ( 0 minutes 0.000 seconds)

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