Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization -- Department for Nonlinear Dynamics and Network Dynamics Group
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Subcritical Dynamics in vivo

In neuroscience, a popular hypothesis is that the collective neural dynamics should self-organize to a critical state, because at criticality simple models maximize their information processing capacities. However, criticality also comes with the risk of spontaneous runaway activity (epilepsy). I recently obtained the first evidence that neural dynamics maintains a distance to criticality, and thus can keep a safety margin to runaway activity. This distance to criticality is consistent across different species, but changes with vigilance states. Currently, I refine the methods to quantify the distance to criticality, with the aim to understand how this distance is adjusted depending on needs.