Coding of information in limit cycle oscillators

Phys Rev Lett. 2009 Dec 11;103(24):248105. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.103.248105. Epub 2009 Dec 9.


Starting from a general description of noisy limit cycle oscillators, we derive from the Fokker-Planck equations the linear response of the instantaneous oscillator frequency to a time-varying external force. We consider the time series of zero crossings of the oscillator's phase and compute the mutual information between it and the driving force. A direct link is established between the phase response curve summarizing the oscillator dynamics and the ability of a limit cycle oscillator, such as a heart cell or neuron, to encode information in the timing of peaks in the oscillation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Oscillometry / instrumentation*