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Biol Cybern. 2006 Aug;95(2):169-83. Epub 2006 Jun 21.

Neural signatures: multiple coding in spiking-bursting cells.

Author information

  • 1Grupo de Neurocomputación Biológica (GNB), Departamento de Ingeniería Informática, Escuela Politécnica Superior, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049, Madrid, Spain.

Erratum in

  • Biol Cybern. 2007 Jan;96(1):145.


Recent experiments have revealed the existence of neural signatures in the activity of individual cells of the pyloric central pattern generator (CPG) of crustacean. The neural signatures consist of cell-specific spike timings in the bursting activity of the neurons. The role of these intraburst neural fingerprints is still unclear. It has been reported previously that some muscles can reflect small changes in the spike timings of the neurons that innervate them. However, it is unclear to what extent neural signatures contribute to the command message that the muscles receive from the motoneurons. It is also unknown whether the signatures have any functional meaning for the neurons that belong to the same CPG or to other interconnected CPGs. In this paper, we use realistic neural models to study the ability of single cells and small circuits to recognize individual neural signatures. We show that model cells and circuits can respond distinctly to the incoming neural fingerprints in addition to the properties of the slow depolarizing waves. Our results suggest that neural signatures can be a general mechanism of spiking-bursting cells to implement multicoding.

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