Bifurcations and multistability in the extended Hindmarsh-Rose neuronal oscillator
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We report on the bifurcation analysis of an extended Hindmarsh-Rose (eHR) neuronal oscillator. We prove that Hopf bifurcation occurs in this system, when an appropriate chosen bifurcation parameter varies and reaches its critical value. Applying the normal form theory, we derive a formula to determine the direction of the Hopf bifurcation and the stability of bifurcating periodic flows. To observe this latter bifurcation and to illustrate its theoretical analysis, numerical simulations are performed. Hence, we present an explanation of the discontinuous behavior of the amplitude of the repetitive response as a function of system's parameters based on the presence of the subcritical unstable oscillations. Furthermore, the bifurcation structures of the system are studied, with special care on the effects of parameters associated with the slow current and the slower dynamical process. We find that the system presents diversity of bifurcations such as period-doubling, symmetry breaking, crises and reverse period-doubling, when the afore mentioned parameters are varied in tiny steps. The complexity of the bifurcation structures seems useful to understand how neurons encode information or how they respond to external stimuli. Furthermore, we find that the extended Hindmarsh-Rose model also presents the multistability of oscillatory and silent regimes for precise sets of its parameters. This phenomenon plays a practical role in short-term memory and appears to give an evolutionary advantage for neurons since they constitute part of multifunctional microcircuits such as central pattern generators.