Bifurcations of Canard-Induced Mixed Mode Oscillations in a Pituitary Lactotroph Model
Theodore Vo, Richard Bertram, Martin Wechselberger
Mixed mode oscillations (MMOs) are complex oscillatory wave-forms that naturally occur in physiologically relevant dynamical processes. MMOs were studied in a model of electrical bursting in a pituitary lactotroph  where geometric singular perturbation theory and bifurcation analysis were combined to demonstrate that the MMOs arise from canard dynamics. In this work, we extend the analysis done in  and consider bifurcations of canard solutions under variations of key parameters. To do this, a global return map induced by the flow of the equations is constructed and a qualitative analysis given. The canard solutions act as separatrices in the return maps, organ- ising the dynamics along the Poincare section. We examine the bifurcations of the return maps and demonstrate that the map formulation allows for an explanation of the dithe lactotroph model.