Spontaneous activity emerging from an inferred network model captures complex spatio-temporal dynamics of spike data

Cristiano Capone, Guido Gigante, Paolo Del Giudice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Inference methods are widely used to recover effective models from observed data. However, few studies attempted to investigate the dynamics of inferred models in neuroscience, and none, to our knowledge, at the network level. We introduce a principled modification of a widely used generalized linear model (GLM), and learn its structural and dynamic parameters from in-vitro spike data. The spontaneous activity of the new model captures prominent features of the non-stationary and non-linear dynamics displayed by the biological network, where the reference GLM largely fails, and also reflects fine-grained spatio-temporal dynamical features. Two ingredients were key for success. The first is a saturating transfer function: beyond its biological plausibility, it limits the neuron’s information transfer, improving robustness against endogenous and external noise. The second is a super-Poisson spikes generative mechanism; it accounts for the undersampling of the network, and allows the model neuron to flexibly incorporate the observed activity fluctuations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17056
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018



  • Computational Physics
  • Complex systems
  • Neuronal networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this