A cross-interval spike train analysis: the correlation between spike generation and temporal integration of doublets
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A stochastic spike train analysis technique is introduced to reveal the correlation between the firing of the next spike and the temporal integration period of two consecutive spikes (i.e., a doublet). Statistics of spike firing times between neurons are established to obtain the conditional probability of spike firing in relation to the integration period. The existence of a temporal integration period is deduced from the time interval between two consecutive spikes fired in a reference neuron as a precondition to the generation of the next spike in a compared neuron. This analysis can show whether the coupled spike firing in the compared neuron is correlated with the last or the second-to-last spike in the reference neuron. Analysis of simulated and experimentally recorded biological spike trains shows that the effects of excitatory and inhibitory temporal integration are extracted by this method without relying on any subthreshold potential recordings. The analysis also shows that, with temporal integration, a neuron driven by random firing patterns can produce fairly regular firing patterns under appropriate conditions. This regularity in firing can be enhanced by temporal integration of spikes in a chain of polysynaptically connected neurons. The bandpass filtering of spike firings by temporal integration is discussed. The results also reveal that signal transmission delays may be attributed not just to conduction and synaptic delays, but also to the delay time needed for temporal integration.
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