Bard Ermentrout
University of Pittsburgh

What makes a neuron spike: Optimality, noise, and phase resetting

Thursday 30th of October 2008 at 12:00pm
508-20 Evans Hall

Please note this Seminar is on Thursday instead of our usual Wednesday

I will describe behavior of nearly regularly firing neurons in the presence of noisy stimuli. I first describe the phase resetting curve (PRC) and how it responds to noisy inputs. I show how there is an optimal shape for the PRC and discuss the effects of unshared noise. Next I turn to an important computational concept - the spike-triggered average. The STA is the optimal linear filter for reconstructing firing rates from stimuli. I show that the STA and the PRC are closely related. I then show that the reliability and the STA are related and use this to show that neurons are tuned to noise which has the spectral characteristics of excitatory synapses. This work is joint with Sashi Marella, Aushra Abouzeid, Nathan Urban and Roberto Fernandez-Galan

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