Abstract

Synapses that rise quickly but have long persistence are shown to have certain computational advantages. They have some unique mathematical properties as well and in some instances can make neurons behave as if they are weakly coupled oscillators. This property allows us to determine their synchronization properties. Furthermore, slowly decaying synapses allow recurrent networks to maintain excitation in the absence of inputs, whereas faster decaying synapses do not. There is an interaction between the synaptic strength and the persistence that allows recurrent networks to fire at low rates if the synapses are sufficiently slow. Waves and localized structures are constructed in spatially extended networks with slowly decaying synapses.

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