Spurious dynamics in somatosensory cortex.

Behavioural brain research

PubMedID: 12356437

Favorov OV, Hester JT, Lao R, Tommerdahl M. Spurious dynamics in somatosensory cortex. Behav Brain Res. 2002;135(1-2):75-82.
Cortical networks are dynamical systems whose task is to process information. However, in addition to 'intended' dynamical behaviors, the sheer complexity of a cortical network's structure-regardless of its precise details-should generate additional 'unintended' dynamical behaviors. Dynamics observed in cortical network models and in the somatosensory cortex suggest that such spurious dynamical behaviors are likely to be pervasive but relatively simple, contributing to-rather than dominating-a network's response to stimuli. Spurious dynamics may be responsible for a variety of experimentally observed intriguing features of cortical dynamics. Because of their distributed origins and emergent nature, such dynamical features, while clearly identifiable, will resist attempts at identifying specific mechanisms to explain them. We describe some of the spurious dynamical phenomena associated with somatosensory cortical response to brushing stimulation, to illustrate how spurious dynamics can affect neurons' functional properties, cortical stimulus representation and, ultimately, perception.