What determines the frequency of fast network oscillations with irregular neural discharges?
When the local field potential of a cortical network displays coherent fast oscillations ( approximately 40-Hz gamma or approximately 200-Hz sharp-wave ripples), the spike trains of constituent neurons are typically irregular and sparse. The dichotomy between rhythmic local field and stochastic spike trains presents a challenge to the theory of brain rhythms in the framework of coupled oscillators. Previous studies have shown that when noise is large and recurrent inhibition is strong, a coherent network rhythm can be generated while single neurons fire intermittently at low rates compared to the frequency of the oscillation. However, these studies used too simplified synaptic kinetics to allow quantitative predictions of the population rhythmic frequency. Here we show how to derive quantitatively the coherent oscillation frequency for a randomly connected network of leaky integrate-and-fire neurons with realistic synaptic parameters. In a noise-dominated interneuronal network, the osc