Neurons in the inhibitory network of the striatum display cell assembly firing patterns which recent results suggest may consist of spatially compact neural clusters. Previous computational modeling of striatal neural networks has indicated that non-monotonic, distance-dependent coupling may promote spatially localized cluster firing. Here, we identify conditions for the existence and stability of cluster firing solutions in which clusters consist of spatially adjacent neurons in inhibitory neural networks. We consider simple non-monotonic, distance-dependent connectivity schemes in weakly coupled 1-D networks where cells make strong connections with their kth nearest neighbors on each side. Using the phase model reduction of the network system, we prove the existence of cluster solutions where neurons that are spatially close together are also synchronized in the same cluster, and find stability conditions for these solutions. Our analysis predicts the long-term behavior for networks of neurons, and we confirm our results by numerical simulations of biophysical neuron network models. Additionally, we add weaker coupling between closer neighbors as a perturbation to our network connectivity. We analyze the existence and stability of cluster solutions of the perturbed network and validate our results with numerical simulations. Our results demonstrate that an inhibitory network with non-monotonic, distance-dependent connectivity can exhibit cluster solutions where adjacent cells fire together.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience