In vitro and modeling results for networks with varying connectivity. Schematic of transverse slice preparation of the ventral lateral medulla (A) and connectivity profiles for fully (B) and sparsely connected (C) network models. Example spike time raster of individually identified neurons during normal population rhythms (D) show noticeable variability in burst onset timing. This variability is reproduced in sparsely connected network models (F) but not in fully connected networks (E). For simulation rasters a random selection of 20 of 300 simulated cells is shown.