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J Neurosci. 2011 Nov 9;31(45):16217-26. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1677-11.2011.

On the distribution of firing rates in networks of cortical neurons.

Author information

1
Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA. aroxin@clinic.ub.es

Abstract

The distribution of in vivo average firing rates within local cortical networks has been reported to be highly skewed and long tailed. The distribution of average single-cell inputs, conversely, is expected to be Gaussian by the central limit theorem. This raises the issue of how a skewed distribution of firing rates might result from a symmetric distribution of inputs. We argue that skewed rate distributions are a signature of the nonlinearity of the in vivo f-I curve. During in vivo conditions, ongoing synaptic activity produces significant fluctuations in the membrane potential of neurons, resulting in an expansive nonlinearity of the f-I curve for low and moderate inputs. Here, we investigate the effects of single-cell and network parameters on the shape of the f-I curve and, by extension, on the distribution of firing rates in randomly connected networks.

PMID:
22072673
DOI:
10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1677-11.2011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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