### Article

## The dynamics of ensemble of neuron-like elements with excitatory couplings

We investigated the phenomenological model of ensemble of two FitzHugh–Nagumo neuron-like elements with symmetric excitatory couplings. The main advantage of proposed model is the new approach to model the coupling which is implemented by smooth function that approximates rectangular function and reflects main important properties of biological synaptic coupling. The proposed coupling depends on three parameters that define: a) the beginning of activation of an element *α*, b) the duration of the activation *δ* and c) the strength of the coupling *g*. We observed a rich diversity of different types of neuron-like activity, including regular in-phase, anti-phase and sequential spiking. In the phase space of the system, these regular regimes correspond to specific asymptotically stable periodic motions (limit cycles). We also observed the canard in-phase solutions and the chaotic anti-phase activity, which corresponds to a strange attractor that appears via the cascade of period doubling bifurcations of limit cycles.

In addition, we investigated an interesting phenomenon when two different chaotic attractive regimes corresponding for two different types of chaotic anti-phase activity merge in a single strange attractor. As a result, a new type of chaotic anti-phase regime appears by explosion from the collision of these two strange attractors.

We also provided the detailed study of bifurcations which lead to the transitions between all these regimes. We detected on the (*α, δ*) parameter plane regions that correspond to the above-mentioned regimes. We also showed numerically the existence of bistability regions where various non-trivial regimes coexist. For example, in some regions, one can observe either anti-phase or in-phase oscillations depending on initial conditions. We also specified regions corresponding to coexisting various types of sequential activity.