When stimulated with a constant stimulus, many neurons initially respond with a high spike frequency that then decays down to a lower steady-state frequency (Fig. 1a). This dynamics of the spike-frequency response is referred to as “spike-frequency adaptation”. Spike-frequency adaptation is a process that is slower than the dynamics of action-potential generation. Spike-frequency adaptation by this definition is an aspect of the neuron’s super-threshold firing regime, although the mechanisms causing spike-frequency adaptation could also be at work in the neuron’s subthreshold regime.
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