Time delay is a general feature of all interactions. Although the effects of delayed interaction are often neglected when the intrinsic dynamics is much slower than the coupling delay, they can be crucial otherwise. We show that delayed coupled neuronal networks support transitions between synchronous and asynchronous states when the level of input to the network changes. The level of input determines the oscillation period of neurons and hence whether time-delayed connections are synchronizing or desynchronizing. We find that synchronizing connections lead to synchronous dynamics, whereas desynchronizing connections lead to out-of-phase oscillations in network motifs and to frustrated states with asynchronous dynamics in large networks. Since the impact of a neuronal network to downstream neurons increases when spikes are synchronous, networks with delayed connections can serve as gatekeeper layers mediating the firing transfer to other regions. This mechanism can regulate the opening and closing of communicating channels between cortical layers on demand.
- dynamical systems
- nonlinear phenomena