Spiking neurons and the first passage problem

Neural Comput. 2011 Jul;23(7):1675-703. doi: 10.1162/NECO_a_00139. Epub 2011 Apr 14.


We derive a model of a neuron's interspike interval probability density through analysis of the first passage problem. The fit of our expression to retinal ganglion cell laboratory data extracts three physiologically relevant parameters, with which our model yields input-output features that conform to laboratory results. Preliminary analysis suggests that under common circumstances, local circuitry readjusts these parameters with changes in firing rate and so endeavors to faithfully replicate an input signal. Further results suggest that the so-called principle of sloppy workmanship also plays a role in evolution's choice of these parameters.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology
  • Time Factors