, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 87-101
Date: 12 Dec 2010

Exponential decay characteristics of the stochastic integer multiple neural firing patterns

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Abstract

Integer multiple neural firing patterns exhibit multi-peaks in inter-spike interval (ISI) histogram (ISIH) and exponential decay in amplitude of peaks, which results from their stochastic mechanisms. But in previous experimental observation that the decay in ISIH frequently shows obvious bias from exponential law. This paper studied three typical cases of the decay, by transforming ISI series of the firing to discrete binary chain and calculating the probabilities or frequencies of symbols over the whole chain. The first case is the exponential decay without bias. An example of this case was discovered on hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neuron stimulated by external signal. Probability calculation shows that this decay without bias results from a stochastic renewal process, in which the successive spikes are independent. The second case is the exponential decay with a higher first peak, while the third case is that with a lower first peak. An example of the second case was discovered in experiment on a neural pacemaker. Simulation and calculation of the second and third cases indicate that the dependency in successive spikes of the firing leads to the bias seen in decay of ISIH peaks. The quantitative expression of the decay slope of three cases of firing patterns, as well as the excitatory effect in the second case of firing pattern and the inhibitory effect in the third case of firing pattern are identified. The results clearly reveal the mechanism of the exponential decay in ISIH peaks of a number of important neural firing patterns and provide new understanding for typical bias from the exponential decay law.