Spike times make sense

Trends Neurosci. 2005 Jan;28(1):1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2004.10.010.


Many behavioral responses are completed too quickly for the underlying sensory processes to rely on estimation of neural firing rates over extended time windows. Theoretically, first-spike times could underlie such rapid responses, but direct evidence has been lacking. Such evidence has now been uncovered in the human somatosensory system. We discuss these findings and their potential generalization to other sensory modalities, and we consider some future challenges for the neuroscientific community.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Behavior / physiology*
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Cortical Synchronization*
  • Humans
  • Mental Processes / physiology
  • Nerve Net / cytology
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Perception / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology*
  • Somatosensory Cortex / cytology
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiology