Coherence resonance due to transient thresholds in excitable systems

Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2010 Aug;82(2 Pt 1):021105. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.82.021105. Epub 2010 Aug 6.


Excitable systems can have more than one response threshold, but accessing each of these is only facilitated by preferential choice of the appropriate components in the input noise. The coherence resonance phenomenon discovered by Pikovsky and Kurths [Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 775 (1997)] utilizes only one response threshold, thus leaving the nature of the dynamics of a possible second threshold unspecified. Here we show using a FitzHugh-Nagumo excitable system that the second response threshold can be reached transiently by brief pulses in the negative noise component, leading to a coherence resonance phenomenon of its own. The resonance can occur both as a function of input amplitude and frequency. The phenomenon is also illustrated in more realistic Hodgkin-Huxley model equations, and analytical predictions are made using probabilistic considerations of the input. This phenomenon attributes more complex role noise can play in excitable systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / physiology*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Differential Threshold / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Models, Statistical
  • Neurons / physiology*