Information encoding and computation with spikes and bursts

Kepecs, A., Lisman, J. (2003) Information encoding and computation with spikes and bursts. Network, 14 (1). pp. 103-18. ISSN 0954-898X (Print)

URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12613553
DOI: 10.1088/0954-898X/14/1/306

Abstract

Neurons compute and communicate by transforming synaptic input patterns into output spike trains. The nature of this transformation depends crucially on the properties of voltage-gated conductances in neuronal membranes. These intrinsic membrane conductances can enable neurons to generate different spike patterns including brief, high-frequency bursts that are commonly observed in a variety of brain regions. Here we examine how the membrane conductances that generate bursts affect neural computation and encoding. We simulated a bursting neuron model driven by random current input signal and superposed noise. We consider two issues: the timing reliability of different spike patterns and the computation performed by the neuron. Statistical analysis of the simulated spike trains shows that the timing of bursts is much more precise than the timing of single spikes. Furthermore, the number of spikes per burst is highly robust to noise. Next we considered the computation performed by the neuron: how different features of the input current are mapped into specific output spike patterns. Dimensional reduction and statistical classification techniques were used to determine the stimulus features triggering different firing patterns. Our main result is that spikes, and bursts of different durations, code for different stimulus features, which can be quantified without a priori assumptions about those features. These findings lead us to propose that the biophysical mechanisms of spike generation enables individual neurons to encode different stimulus features into distinct spike patterns.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: Computer Simulation Membrane Potentials/physiology Models, Neurological Neural Networks (Computer) Neurons/ physiology Oscillometry Stochastic Processes Synaptic Transmission/ physiology Time Factors
Subjects: organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > tissues types and functions > membranes
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > tissues types and functions > neural networks
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > tissues types and functions
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Kepecs lab
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2013 18:19
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2013 18:19
Related URLs:
URI: http://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/27895

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