Juan Luis Cabrera, Stochastic Dynamics Lab, Physics Center, Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research
Unveiling the neural code of wandering animal searches
It is well established that animal movement follows Lévy patterns. The underlying generating neuronal dynamics of such a behavior is unknown. In this paper we show that a novel discovery of multifractality in winnerless competition (WLC) systems reveals a potential encoding mechanism that is translatable into two dimensional super-diffusive Lévy movements. The validity of our approach is tested on a conductance based neuronal model showing WLC and through the extraction of Lévy flights inducing fractals from recordings of rat hippocampus during open field foraging. Further insights are gained analyzing mice motor cortex neurons and non-motor cells signals. The proposed mechanism provides a plausible explanation for the neuro-dynamical fundamentals of spatial searching patterns observed in animals (including humans) and illustrates an until now unknown way to encode information in neuronal temporal series.