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Determination of the precision of spike timing in the visual cortex of anaesthetised cats


Neuronal cortical spike trains contain precisely replicating patterns whose presence cannot be accounted for by chance production. A comparison of the number of triplets of spikes present two times with the number of doublets replicated three times in the same window duration gives a frequency-insensitive measure of this type of fine temporal organisation. By varying the tolerance with which such precisely replicating patterns are detected, one can evaluate the accuracy of spike timing in spike trains. In the sample of data here analysed, it was found that replicating patterns were best seen in the precision range 0.4–1.4 ms (a result evidently at variance with a simple ‘integrate and fire’ model of neurons). Surprisingly, the fine temporal structure of spike trains thus evidenced was stronger at relatively low firing rate discharges and was present in both the ‘spontaneous’ and ‘evoked’ responses.

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Lestienne, R. Determination of the precision of spike timing in the visual cortex of anaesthetised cats. Biol. Cybern. 74, 55–61 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00199137

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  • Rate Discharge
  • Visual Cortex
  • Firing Rate
  • Temporal Structure
  • Spike Train