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ANC Workshop: Mark Van Rossum

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Spontaneous action potentials in axons and neural coding

  • ANC Workshop Talk
When Oct 14, 2014
from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Where Room IF 4.31/4.33
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The voltage-gated Na and K channels in neurons are responsible for action potential generation. Because ion-channels open and close in a stochastic fashion, spontaneous (ectopic) action potentials can result even in the absence of stimulation. While spontaneous action potentials have been studied in detail in single compartment models, studies on spatially extended processes have been limited. The simulations and analysis presented here show that spontaneous rate in un-myelinated axon depends non-monotonically on the length of the axon, that the spontaneous activity has sub-Poisson statistics, and that neural coding can be hampered by the spontaneous spikes by reducing the probability of transmitting the first spike in a train.