Analytic modeling of neural tissue: II. Nonlinear membrane dynamics

B. L. Schwartz, S. M. Brown, J. Muthuswamy, R. J. Sadleir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Computational modeling of neuroactivity plays a central role in our effort to understand brain dynamics in the advancements of neural engineering such as deep brain stimulation, neuroprosthetics, and magnetic resonance electrical impedance tomography. However, analytic solutions do not capture the fundamental nonlinear behavior of an action potential. What is needed is a method that is not constrained to only linearized models of neural tissue. Therefore, the objective of this study is to establish a robust, straightforward process for modeling neurodynamic phenomena, which preserves their nonlinear features. To address this, we turn to decomposition methods from homotopy analysis, which have emerged in recent decades as powerful tools for solving nonlinear differential equations. We solve the nonlinear ordinary differential equations of three landmark models of neural conduction - Ermentrout-Kopell, FitzHugh-Nagumo, and Hindmarsh-Rose models - using George Adomian's decomposition method. For each variable, we construct a power series solution equivalent to a generalized Taylor series expanded about a function. The first term of the decomposition series comes from the models' initial conditions. All subsequent terms are recursively determined from the first. We show rapid convergence, achieving a maximal error of <10-12 with only eight terms. We extend the region of convergence with one-step analytic continuation so that our complete solutions are decomposition splines. We show that this process can yield solutions for single- and multi-variable models and can characterize a single action potential or complex bursting patterns. Finally, we show that the accuracy of this decomposition approach favorably compares to an established polynomial method, B-spline collocation. The strength of this method, besides its stability and ease of computation, is that, unlike perturbation, we make no changes to the models' equations; thus, our solutions are to the problems at hand, not simplified versions. This work validates decomposition as a viable technique for advanced neural engineering studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number115019
JournalAIP Advances
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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