Synchronization Dynamics in Complex Networks

Changsong Zhou*, Lucia Zemanová, Jürgen Kurths

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Previous chapters have discussed tools from graph theory and their contribution to our understanding of the structural organization of mammalian brains and its functional implications. The brain functions are mediated by complicated dynamical processes which arise from the underlying complex neural networks, and synchronization has been proposed as an important mechanism for neural information processing. In this chapter, we discuss synchronization dynamics on complex networks. We first present a general theory and tools to characterize the relationship of some structural measures of networks to their synchronizability (the ability of the networks to achieve complete synchronization) and to the organization of effective synchronization patterns on the networks. Then, we study synchronization in a realistic network of cat cortical connectivity by modeling the nodes (which are cortical areas composed of large ensembles of neurons) by a neural mass model or a subnetwork of interacting neurons. We show that if the dynamics is characterized by well-defined oscillations (neural mass model and subnetworks with strong couplings), the synchronization patterns can be understood by the general principles discussed in the first part of the chapter. With weak couplings, the model with subnetworks displays biologically plausible dynamics and the synchronization pattern reveals a hierarchically clustered organization in the network structure. Thus, the study of synchronization of complex networks can provide insights into the relationship between network topology and functional organization of complex brain networks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLectures in Supercomputational Neurosciences
Subtitle of host publicationDynamics in Complex Brain Networks
EditorsPeter Graben, Marco Thiel, Changsong Zhou, Jurgen Kurths
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages41
ISBN (Electronic)9783540731597
ISBN (Print)9783540731580, 9783642092169
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Publication series

NameUnderstanding Complex Systems
ISSN (Print)1860-0832
ISSN (Electronic)1860-0840

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Software
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Artificial Intelligence

User-Defined Keywords

  • Coupling Strength
  • Phase Synchronization
  • Weighted Network
  • Dynamical Cluster
  • Complete Synchronization


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