Recently, a quantitative wiring diagram for the local neuronal network of cat visual cortex was described [T. Binzegger, R.J. Douglas, K.A.C. Martin, A quantitative map of the circuit of the cat primary visual cortex, J. Neurosci. 39 (24) (2004) 8441-8453.] giving the first complete estimate of synaptic connectivity among various types of neurons in different cortical layers. Here we numerically studied the activity dynamics of the resulting heterogeneous layered network of spiking integrate-and-fire neurons, connected with conductance-based synapses. The layered network exhibited, among other states, an interesting asynchronous activity with intermittent population-wide synchronizations. These population bursts (PB) were initiated by a network hot spot, and then spread into the other parts of the network. The cause of this PB is the correlation amplifying nature of recurrent connections, which becomes significant in densely coupled networks. The hot spot was located in layer 2 / 3, the part of the network with the highest number of excitatory recurrent connections. We conclude that in structured networks, regions with a high degree of recurrence and many out-going fibres may be a source for population-wide synchronization.
2007. Vol. 70, no 10-12, 2069-2073 p.