Journal of Computational Neuroscience

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 15–25 | Cite as

Membrane Resonance and Stochastic Resonance Modulate Firing Patterns of Thalamocortical Neurons

  • Stefan Reinker
  • Ernest Puil
  • Robert M. Miura


We examined the interactions of subthreshold membrane resonance and stochastic resonance using whole-cell patch clamp recordings in thalamocortical neurons of rat brain slices, as well as with a Hodgkin-Huxley-type mathematical model of thalamocortical neurons. The neurons exhibited the subthreshold resonance when stimulated with small amplitude sine wave currents of varying frequency, and stochastic resonance when noise was added to sine wave inputs. Stochastic resonance was manifest as a maximum in signal-to-noise ratio of output response to subthreshold periodic input combined with noise. Stochastic resonance in conjunction with subthreshold resonance resulted in action potential patterns that showed frequency selectivity for periodic inputs. Stochastic resonance was maximal near subthreshold resonance frequency and a high noise level was required for detection of high frequency signals. We speculate that combined membrane and stochastic resonances have physiological utility in coupling synaptic activity to preferred firing frequency and in network synchronization under noise.

membrane resonance stochastic resonance thalamic neurons neuron model noise 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Reinker
    • 1
  • Ernest Puil
    • 2
  • Robert M. Miura
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and Institute of Applied MathematicsThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology & TherapeuticsThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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