Phase-locking and chaos in a silent Hodgkin-Huxley neuron exposed to sinusoidal electric field

Yan Qiu Che, Jiang Wang, Wen Jie Si, Xiang Yang Fei

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33 Scopus citations


Neuronal firing patterns are related to the information processing in neural system. This paper investigates the response characteristics of a silent Hodgkin-Huxley neuron to the stimulation of externally-applied sinusoidal electric field. The neuron exhibits both p:q phase-locked (i.e. a periodic oscillation defined as p action potentials generated by q cycle stimulations) and chaotic behaviors, depending on the values of stimulus frequencies and amplitudes. In one-parameter space, a rich bifurcation structure including period-adding without chaos and phase-locking alternated with chaos suggests frequency discrimination of the neuronal firing patterns. Furthermore, by mapping out Arnold tongues, we partition the amplitude-frequency parameter space in terms of the qualitative behaviors of the neuron. Thus the neuron's information (firing patterns) encodes the stimulus information (amplitude and frequency), and vice versa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-462
Number of pages9
JournalChaos, Solitons and Fractals
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 15 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • General Mathematics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Applied Mathematics


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