One more reason why neurons need to be noisy

Dante R M D Chialvo*, A. V. Apkarian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


This note discusses how information contained in a neural message is transmitted depending on two schemes of encoding: stochastic or deterministic. For the first case, it is shown that the rate of information loss is minimized for a range of signal to noise ratios entering the channel with noise and signal amplitude of the same order of magnitude. In contrast, at the deterministic limit, (i.e., signal amplitude very large compared with the noise) the rate of information loss increases; approximately by a power law of the distance traveled by the message. The exponent depends linearly on the time constant of the function relating speed of propagation vs period of excitation of the axon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsWilliam L. Ditto
PublisherPubl by Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)0819412856
StatePublished - 1993
EventChaos in Biology and Medicine - San Diego, CA, USA
Duration: Jul 12 1993Jul 13 1993

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherChaos in Biology and Medicine
CitySan Diego, CA, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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