Fluctuation Analysis Applied to Nonstationary Biological Processes

  • Riccardo Fesce
Part of the Topics in the Neurosciences book series (TNSC, volume 1)


According to the standard theory of the statistics of stationary’ shot noise’ (ie. a fluctuating signal produced by the linear summation of elementary events occurring randomly at a constant mean rate), the mean value, variance and skew of the noise are related to the mean rate of the events, <r>, their amplitude, h, and their time course, w(t), by the following equations: mean=<r>h∫w(t)dt, variance=<r>h2∫w2(t)dt, skew=<r>h3∫w3(t)dt (Rice, 1944).


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  1. 1.
    Rice S.O. 1944. Mathematical analysis of random noise. Bell Tel. System J. 23.:282–332. Reprinted in: Selected papers on noise and stochastic processes. N. Wax ed. Dover Publications, New York, pp.133-294, 1954.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Schick, K.L. 1974. Power spectra of pulse sequences and implications for membrane fluctuations. Acta Biotheor. 23(1): 1–17.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Segal, J.R., B. Ceccarelli, R. Fesce and W.P. Hurlbut. 1984. Miniature endplate potential frequency and amplitude determined by an extension of Campbell’s theorem. Biophys. J. In press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishing, Boston 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Riccardo Fesce
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Rockefeller UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Dept. PharmacologyUniversity of MilanoItalyUSA

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