A new method of spike modelling and interval analysis

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Here we develop a new model of spike firing, based on the leaky integrate and fire model, modified to simulate after potentials. We also develop new analysis techniques, applying these to recorded and model generated data in order to make a comparative analysis and develop the model as a hypothesis for the functional components of the neuron. The model is based in this first instance on hypothalamic oxytocin neurons. We demonstrate how model parameters and cell properties relate to features observed in inter-spike intervals histograms, and the limits of these in being able to detect patterning features in spike recordings. A new technique, spike train analysis, is able to detect previously unobserved patterning, showing a dependence of spike intervals on previous firing activity. This effect is reproduced in the model by adding the small amplitude but long lasting after hyper-polarising potential (AHP). A fit measure based on log likelihood is used to compare model generated data to recorded spike intervals, taking account of interval dependence on previous activity. This measure is used with the simplex multiple parameter search algorithm to develop an automated method for fitting the model to recorded data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-56
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009


  • Spike interval
  • Histogram
  • Modelling
  • Spike train
  • Log likelihood
  • Oxytocin


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