Entrainment and chaos in a pulse-driven hodgkin-huxley oscillator

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12 Scopus citations


The Hodgkin-Huxley model describes action potential generation in certain types of neurons and is a standard model for conductance-based, excitable cells. Following the early work of Winfree and Best, this paper explores the response of a spontaneously spiking Hodgkin-Huxley neuron model to a periodic pulsatile drive. The response as a function of drive period and amplitude is systematically characterized. A wide range of qualitatively distinct responses are found, including entrainment to the input pulse train and persistent chaos. These observations are consistent with a theory of kicked oscillators developed by Q. Wang and L.-S. Young. In addition to general features predicted by Wang-Young theory, it is found that most combinations of drive period and amplitude lead to entrainment instead of chaos. This preference for entrainment over chaos is explained by the structure of the Hodgkin-Huxley phase-resetting curve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-204
Number of pages26
JournalSIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006


  • Driven nonlinear oscillators.
  • Entrainment and phase-locking
  • Hodgkin-Huxley model
  • Strange attractors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation


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