Adaptation reduces variability of the neuronal population code

Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2011 May;83(5 Pt 1):050905. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.83.050905. Epub 2011 May 19.


Sequences of events in noise-driven excitable systems with slow variables often show serial correlations among their intervals of events. Here, we employ a master equation for generalized non-renewal processes to calculate the interval and count statistics of superimposed processes governed by a slow adaptation variable. For an ensemble of neurons with spike-frequency adaptation, this results in the regularization of the population activity and an enhanced postsynaptic signal decoding. We confirm our theoretical results in a population of cortical neurons recorded in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Synapses / metabolism