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Title: Critical phenomena at a first-order phase transition in a lattice of glow lamps: Experimental findings and analogy to neural activity

Abstract

Networks of non-linear electronic oscillators have shown potential as physical models of neural dynamics. However, two properties of brain activity, namely, criticality and metastability, remain under-investigated with this approach. Here, we present a simple circuit that exhibits both phenomena. The apparatus consists of a two-dimensional square lattice of capacitively coupled glow (neon) lamps. The dynamics of lamp breakdown (flash) events are controlled by a DC voltage globally connected to all nodes via fixed resistors. Depending on this parameter, two phases having distinct event rate and degree of spatiotemporal order are observed. The transition between them is hysteretic, thus a first-order one, and it is possible to enter a metastability region, wherein, approaching a spinodal point, critical phenomena emerge. Avalanches of events occur according to power-law distributions having exponents ≈3/2 for size and ≈2 for duration, and fractal structure is evident as power-law scaling of the Fano factor. These critical exponents overlap observations in biological neural networks; hence, this circuit may have value as building block to realize corresponding physical models.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [4]
  1. Center for Mind/Brain Sciences, University of Trento, 38123 Mattarello (Italy)
  2. (Poland)
  3. Department of Physics “E. Pancini,” University of Naples “Federico II,” Napoli (Italy)
  4. (Italy)
  5. INFN Gr. Coll. Salerno, Unità di Napoli, Napoli (Italy)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22596641
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Chaos (Woodbury, N. Y.); Journal Volume: 26; Journal Issue: 7; Other Information: (c) 2016 Author(s); Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; 97 MATHEMATICAL METHODS AND COMPUTING; FANO FACTOR; LIGHT BULBS; NONLINEAR PROBLEMS; OSCILLATORS; RESISTORS; TETRAGONAL LATTICES

Citation Formats

Minati, Ludovico, E-mail: lminati@ieee.org, E-mail: ludovico.minati@unitn.it, E-mail: ludovico.minati@ifj.edu, Complex Systems Theory Department, Institute of Nuclear Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, Candia, Antonio de, INFN Gr. Coll. Salerno, Unità di Napoli, Napoli, Scarpetta, Silvia, and Department of Physics “E.R.Caianiello,” University of Salerno, Napoli. Critical phenomena at a first-order phase transition in a lattice of glow lamps: Experimental findings and analogy to neural activity. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4954879.
Minati, Ludovico, E-mail: lminati@ieee.org, E-mail: ludovico.minati@unitn.it, E-mail: ludovico.minati@ifj.edu, Complex Systems Theory Department, Institute of Nuclear Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, Candia, Antonio de, INFN Gr. Coll. Salerno, Unità di Napoli, Napoli, Scarpetta, Silvia, & Department of Physics “E.R.Caianiello,” University of Salerno, Napoli. Critical phenomena at a first-order phase transition in a lattice of glow lamps: Experimental findings and analogy to neural activity. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4954879.
Minati, Ludovico, E-mail: lminati@ieee.org, E-mail: ludovico.minati@unitn.it, E-mail: ludovico.minati@ifj.edu, Complex Systems Theory Department, Institute of Nuclear Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, Candia, Antonio de, INFN Gr. Coll. Salerno, Unità di Napoli, Napoli, Scarpetta, Silvia, and Department of Physics “E.R.Caianiello,” University of Salerno, Napoli. Fri . "Critical phenomena at a first-order phase transition in a lattice of glow lamps: Experimental findings and analogy to neural activity". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4954879.
@article{osti_22596641,
title = {Critical phenomena at a first-order phase transition in a lattice of glow lamps: Experimental findings and analogy to neural activity},
author = {Minati, Ludovico, E-mail: lminati@ieee.org, E-mail: ludovico.minati@unitn.it, E-mail: ludovico.minati@ifj.edu and Complex Systems Theory Department, Institute of Nuclear Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków and Candia, Antonio de and INFN Gr. Coll. Salerno, Unità di Napoli, Napoli and Scarpetta, Silvia and Department of Physics “E.R.Caianiello,” University of Salerno, Napoli},
abstractNote = {Networks of non-linear electronic oscillators have shown potential as physical models of neural dynamics. However, two properties of brain activity, namely, criticality and metastability, remain under-investigated with this approach. Here, we present a simple circuit that exhibits both phenomena. The apparatus consists of a two-dimensional square lattice of capacitively coupled glow (neon) lamps. The dynamics of lamp breakdown (flash) events are controlled by a DC voltage globally connected to all nodes via fixed resistors. Depending on this parameter, two phases having distinct event rate and degree of spatiotemporal order are observed. The transition between them is hysteretic, thus a first-order one, and it is possible to enter a metastability region, wherein, approaching a spinodal point, critical phenomena emerge. Avalanches of events occur according to power-law distributions having exponents ≈3/2 for size and ≈2 for duration, and fractal structure is evident as power-law scaling of the Fano factor. These critical exponents overlap observations in biological neural networks; hence, this circuit may have value as building block to realize corresponding physical models.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4954879},
journal = {Chaos (Woodbury, N. Y.)},
number = 7,
volume = 26,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Jul 15 00:00:00 EDT 2016},
month = {Fri Jul 15 00:00:00 EDT 2016}
}