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Neural Comput. 2005 Dec;17(12):2571-601.

Response properties of an integrate-and-fire model that receives subthreshold inputs.

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Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307, USA.


A computational technique is described for calculation of the interspike interval and poststimulus time histograms for the responses of an integrate-and-fire model to arbitrary inputs. The effects of the model parameters on the response statistics were studied systematically. Specifically, the probability distribution of the membrane potential was calculated as a function of time, and the mean interspike interval and PST histogram were calculated for arbitrary inputs. For stationary inputs, the regularity of the output was studied in detail for various model parameters. For nonstationary inputs, the effects of the model parameters on the output synchronization index were explored. The results show that enhanced synchronization in response to low-frequency stimuli required a large number (n > 25) of weak inputs. Irregular responses and a linear input-output rate relationship required strong (but subthreshold) inputs with a small time constant. A model cell with mixed-amplitude synaptic inputs can respond to stationary inputs irregularly and have enhanced synchronization to nonstationary inputs that are phase-locked to low-frequency inputs. Both of these response properties have been reported for some cells in the ventral cochlear nucleus in the auditory brainstem.

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