Recently, in both the neuroscience and adaptive behaviour communities, there has been growing interest in the interplay of multiple timescales within neural systems. In particular, the phenomenon of neuromodulation has received a great deal of interest within neuroscience and a growing amount of attention within adaptive behaviour research. This interest has been driven by hypotheses and evidence that have linked neuromodulatory chemicals to a wide range of important adaptive processes such as regulation, reconfiguration, and plasticity. Here, we first demonstrate that manipulating timescales can qualitatively alter the dynamics of a simple system of coupled model neurons. We go on to explore this effect in larger systems within the framework employed by Gardner, Ashby and May in their seminal studies of stability in complex networks. On the basis of linear stability analysis, we conclude that, despite evidence that timescale is important for stability, the presence of multiple timescales within a single system has, in general, no appreciable effect on the May-Wigner stability/connectance relationship. Finally we address some of the shortcomings of linear stability analysis and conclude that more sophisticated analytical approaches are required in order to explore the impact of multiple timescales on the temporally extended dynamics of adaptive systems.
|Title of host publication||Advances in Artificial Life: Proceedings of the Eighth European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL 2005)|
|Editors||Peter J. Bentley, Mathieu Capcarrere, Alex A. Freitas, Colin G. Johnson, Jon Timmis|
|Publisher||Springer Berlin Heidelberg|
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|