Measuring Information in Firing Rates

  • Michael G. Paulin


It might be thought that one spike carries one bit of information because it is an allor-none event. However, spikes convey information not merely because they occur, but because of when they occur. The amount of information that can be transmited by one spike depends on how accurately its arrival time can be controlled by the sender and measured by the receiver, and can be arbitrarily large.


Firing Rate Spike Train Reconstruction Error Interspike Interval Information Capacity 


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  1. Paulin, M.G. (1992) Digital filters for firing rate estimation. Biol. Cybern. 66: 525–531PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Paulin, M.G. (1996) System Identification of Spiking Sensory Neurons using Realistically Constrained Nonlinear Time Series Models. In: Advances in Processing and Pattern Analysis of Biological Signals. I. Gath and G. Inbar (eds). Plenum, NY.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael G. Paulin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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