[Comp-neuro] Review announcement

jim bower bower at uthscsa.edu
Fri Jul 18 15:56:07 CEST 2008

Haven't done this in a long time. But who says neurons are noisy?  

From the point of view of information theory, why isn't the apperance of noise expected in a highly optimized coding scheme?  And why isn't synchrony to be avoided as redundency. Engineers avoid it, why shouldn't evolution. 

Just curious. 

Jim bower
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-----Original Message-----
From: Nathan Urban <nurban at cmu.edu>

Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2008 08:41:22 
To: <comp-neuro at neuroinf.org>
Subject: [Comp-neuro] Review announcement

Review announcement

This review describes a constructive role for noise in synchronizing 
populations of neurons and should be of interest to computaional 

Trends Neurosci. 2008 Jul 4. [Epub ahead of print]
    Reliability, synchrony and noise.
    Ermentrout GB, Galán RF, Urban NN.

The brain is noisy. Neurons receive tens of thousands of highly 
fluctuating inputs and generate spike trains that appear highly 
irregular. Much of this activity is spontaneous - uncoupled to overt 
stimuli or motor outputs - leading to questions about the functional 
impact of this noise. Although noise is most often thought of as 
disrupting patterned activity and interfering with the encoding of 
stimuli, recent theoretical and experimental work has shown that noise 
can play a constructive role - leading to increased reliability or 
regularity of neuronal firing in single neurons and across populations. 
These results raise fundamental questions about how noise can influence 
neural function and computation.

    PMID: 18603311 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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