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Effects of Noise on the Spike Timing Precision of Retinal Ganglion Cells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2406-2419
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2003


Information in a spike train is limited by variability in the spike timing. This variability is caused by noise from several sources including synapses and membrane channels; but how deleterious each noise source is and how they affect spike train coding is unknown. Combining physiology and a multicompartment model, we studied the effect of synaptic input noise and voltage-gated channel noise on spike train reliability for a mammalian ganglion cell. For tonic stimuli, the SD of the interspike intervals increased supralinearly with increasing interspike interval. When the cell was driven by current injection, voltage-gated channel noise and background synaptic noise caused fluctuations in the interspike interval of comparable amplitude. Spikes initiated on the dendrites could cause additional spike timing fluctuations. For transient stimuli, synaptic noise was dominant and spontaneous background activity strongly increased fluctuations in spike timing but decreased the latency of the first spike.

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