Event Abstract

Point Process Model for Precisely Timed Spike Trains

When the same stimulation is presented to a neuronal system, the train of action potentials that are observed as a result sometimes show a highly repeatable spatio-temporal pattern at the millisecond time scale. Recently these precisely timed spike trains (PTST) are reported both in in vivo and in vitro preparations. It has been speculated that this spatio-temporal pattern can support temporal coding. Despite being highly reproducible, different forms of trial-to-trial variability have also been observed. It is crucial to understand this variability since to utilize a precisely timed spike pattern as a temporal code, the system should presumably be robust to its variability structure, and possibly learn to reduce it. The variability also restricts the amount of information that can be encoded in such a manner by setting the resolution for distinguishable spike patterns in the spike train space.

These variabilities of PTSTs are not appropriately described by the widely used point process models such as Poisson process or renewal process. Although the PTSTs have been previously quantified in practice, there has not been a formal point process model to describe them. We provide a mathematically rigorous point process model, and describe its properties and implication. We define the counting process of a single precisely timed action potential from intuitive notions of precision and reliability, then we build a collection of indistinguishable precisely timed action potentials. In addition, to represent additive action potentials and rate modulated responses, the model can be super-positioned with a Poisson process.

We will illustrate the usefulness of our proposed model via spike trains collected in vitro from cultured cortical neurons on micro electrode arrays. A simple heuristic method to estimate the model parameters is also presented.

Conference: Computational and systems neuroscience 2009, Salt Lake City, UT, United States, 26 Feb - 3 Mar, 2009.

Presentation Type: Poster Presentation

Topic: Poster Presentations

Citation: (2009). Point Process Model for Precisely Timed Spike Trains. Front. Syst. Neurosci. Conference Abstract: Computational and systems neuroscience 2009. doi: 10.3389/conf.neuro.06.2009.03.227

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Received: 03 Feb 2009; Published Online: 03 Feb 2009.