Yamakou, ME; Jost, J

We analyze the effect of synaptic noise on the dynamics of the FitzHugh-Nagumo (FHN) neuron model. In our deterministic parameter regime, a limit cycle solution cannot emerge through a singular Hopf bifurcation, but such a limit cycle can nevertheless arise as a stochastic effect, as a consequence of weak synaptic noise in a regime of strong timescale separation () between the slow and fast variables of the model. We investigate the mechanism behind this phenomenon, known as self-induced stochastic resonance (SISR) (Muratov et al. in Physica D 210:227-240, 2005), by using multiple-time perturbation techniques and by analyzing the escape mechanism of the random trajectories from the stable manifolds of the model equation. Even though SISR occurs only in the limit as the singular parameter , decreasing does not increase the coherence of the oscillations in the FHN model, but rather increases the interval of the noise amplitude for which coherence occurs. This is in contrast to the dynamical system studied in Muratov et al. (2005). Moreover, the phenomenon is robust under parameter tuning. Numerical simulations exhibit the results predicted by the theoretical analysis. In fact, our analysis together with that in Yamakou and Jost (Weak noise-induced transitions with inhibition and modulation of neural oscillations, 2017) reveals that the FHN model can support different stochastic resonance phenomena. While it had been known (Pikovsky and Kurths in Phys Rev Lett 78:775-778, 1997) that coherence resonance can occur when the slow variable is subjected to noise, we show that, when noise is added to the fast variable, two other types, inverse stochastic resonance and SISR, may emerge in the same weak noise limit and that the transition between these phenomena can be induced by varying a simple parameter.