An open question in biological neural networks is whether changes in firing modalities are mainly an individual network property or whether networks follow a joint pathway. For the early developmental period, our study focusing on a simple network class of excitatory and inhibitory neurons suggests the following answer: Networks with considerable variation of topology and dynamical parameters follow a universal firing paradigm that evolves as the overall connectivity strength and firing level increase, as seen in the process of network maturation. A simple macroscopic model reproduces the main features of the paradigm as a result of the competition between the fundamental dynamical system notions of synchronization vs chaos and explains why in simulations the paradigm is robust regarding differences in network topology and largely independent from the neuron model used. The presented findings reflect the first dozen days of dissociated neuronal in vitro cultures (upon following the developmental period bears similarly universal features but is characterized by the processes of neuronal facilitation and depression that do not require to be considered for the first developmental period).

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