Feedback stabilizes propagation of synchronous spiking in cortical neural networks. Moldakarimov S, Bazhenov M, Sejnowski TJ. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Feb 24;112(8):2545-50.

Precisely timed action potentials related to stimuli and behavior have been observed in the cerebral cortex. However, information carried by the precise spike timing has to propagate through many cortical areas, and noise could disrupt millisecond precision during the transmission. Previous studies have demonstrated that only strong stimuli that evoke a large number of spikes with small dispersion of spike times can propagate through multilayer networks without degrading the temporal precision. Here we show that feedback projections can increase the number of spikes in spike volleys without degrading their temporal precision. Feedback also increased the range of spike volleys that can propagate through multilayer networks. Our work suggests that feedback projections could be responsible for the reliable propagation of information encoded in spike times through cortex, and thus could serve as an attentional mechanism to regulate the flow of information in the cortex. Feedback projections may also participate in generating spike synchronization that is engaged in cognitive behaviors by the same mechanisms described here for spike propagation.