Robustness of neuronal activity is a property necessary for a neuronal network to withstand perturbations, which may otherwise disrupt or destroy the system. The robustness of complex systems has been shown to depend on a number of features of the system, including morphology and heterogeneity of the activity of the component neurons, size of the networks, synaptic connectivity, and neuromodulation. The activity of small networks, such as the pyloric network of the crustacean stomatogastric nervous system, appears to be robust despite some of the factors not being consistent with the expected properties of complex systems, e.g., small size and homogeneity of the synaptic connections. The activity of the pyloric network has been shown to be stable and robust in a neuromodulatory state-dependent manner. When neuromodulatory inputs are severed, activity is initially disrupted, losing both stability and robustness. Over the long term, however, stable activity homeostatically recovers without the restoration of neuromodulatory input. The question we address in this study is whether robustness can also be restored as the network reorganizes itself to compensate for the loss of neuromodulatory input and recovers the lost activity. Here, we use temperature changes as a perturbation to probe the robustness of the network’s activity. We develop a simple metric of robustness, i.e., the variances of the network phase relationships, and show that robustness is indeed restored simultaneously along with its stable network activity, indicating that, whatever the reorganization of the network entails, it is deep enough also to restore this important property.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience