Synaptic noise as a recognized and useful biological signal has been with us since Sir Bernard Katz and Ricardo Miledi described the increased voltage noise in the acetylcholine-induced endplate potential recorded from a frog neuromuscular junction (Katz and Miledi, 1970). Noise analysis has produced important insights into the function of the synaptic mechanism, and the success of this approach has encouraged similar undertakings in a broad variety of other biological systems. In this paper I will discuss several topics about the interpretation of noise data and its role in the study of molecular mechanisms. While specific points will be illustrated using synaptic noise studies, the reader should note the general applicability of each topic to studies of other biological noise sources.
KeywordsNeuromuscular Junction Noise Spectrum Characteristic Rate Corner Frequency Spectral Density Function
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