Reliability and information transmission in spiking neurons

Trends Neurosci. 1992 Nov;15(11):428-34. doi: 10.1016/0166-2236(92)90005-s.


Spiking neurons encode continuous, time-varying signals in sequences of identical action potentials. Relatively simple algorithms allow one to 'decode' this neural representation of sensory data to estimate the input signals. Decoding experiments provide a quantitative characterization of information transmission and computational reliability under real-time conditions. The results of these studies show that neural coding and computation in several systems approach fundamental physical and informational theoretic limits to performance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials*
  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology
  • Synaptic Transmission