Event-driven simulation of spiking neurons with stochastic dynamics

Neural Comput. 2003 Apr;15(4):811-30. doi: 10.1162/08997660360581912.


We present a new technique, based on a proposed event-based strategy (Mattia & Del Giudice, 2000), for efficiently simulating large networks of simple model neurons. The strategy was based on the fact that interactions among neurons occur by means of events that are well localized in time (the action potentials) and relatively rare. In the interval between two of these events, the state variables associated with a model neuron or a synapse evolved deterministically and in a predictable way. Here, we extend the event-driven simulation strategy to the case in which the dynamics of the state variables in the inter-event intervals are stochastic. This extension captures both the situation in which the simulated neurons are inherently noisy and the case in which they are embedded in a very large network and receive a huge number of random synaptic inputs. We show how to effectively include the impact of large background populations into neuronal dynamics by means of the numerical evaluation of the statistical properties of single-model neurons under random current injection. The new simulation strategy allows the study of networks of interacting neurons with an arbitrary number of external afferents and inherent stochastic dynamics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Algorithms
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Motor Neurons / physiology*
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Stochastic Processes