Correlation between neural spike trains increases with firing rate

Jaime De La Rocha, Brent Doiron, Eric Shea-Brown, Krešimir Josić, Alexander Reyes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Populations of neurons in the retina, olfactory system, visual and somatosensory thalamus, and several cortical regions show temporal correlation between the discharge times of their action potentials (spike trains). Correlated firing has been linked to stimulus encoding, attention, stimulus discrimination, and motor behaviour. Nevertheless, the mechanisms underlying correlated spiking are poorly understood, and its coding implications are still debated. It is not clear, for instance, whether correlations between the discharges of two neurons are determined solely by the correlation between their afferent currents, or whether they also depend on the mean and variance of the input. We addressed this question by computing the spike train correlation coefficient of unconnected pairs of in vitro cortical neurons receiving correlated inputs. Notably, even when the input correlation remained fixed, the spike train output correlation increased with the firing rate, but was largely independent of spike train variability. With a combination of analytical techniques and numerical simulations using 'integrate-and-fire' neuron models we show that this relationship between output correlation and firing rate is robust to input heterogeneities. Finally, this overlooked relationship is replicated by a standard threshold-linear model, demonstrating the universality of the result. This connection between the rate and correlation of spiking activity links two fundamental features of the neural code.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)802-806
Number of pages5
JournalNature
Volume448
Issue number7155
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 16 2007

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Neurons
Temporal Lobe
Thalamus
Action Potentials
Retina
Linear Models
Population
In Vitro Techniques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

De La Rocha, J., Doiron, B., Shea-Brown, E., Josić, K., & Reyes, A. (2007). Correlation between neural spike trains increases with firing rate. Nature, 448(7155), 802-806. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature06028

Correlation between neural spike trains increases with firing rate. / De La Rocha, Jaime; Doiron, Brent; Shea-Brown, Eric; Josić, Krešimir; Reyes, Alexander.

In: Nature, Vol. 448, No. 7155, 16.08.2007, p. 802-806.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

De La Rocha, J, Doiron, B, Shea-Brown, E, Josić, K & Reyes, A 2007, 'Correlation between neural spike trains increases with firing rate', Nature, vol. 448, no. 7155, pp. 802-806. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature06028
De La Rocha J, Doiron B, Shea-Brown E, Josić K, Reyes A. Correlation between neural spike trains increases with firing rate. Nature. 2007 Aug 16;448(7155):802-806. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature06028
De La Rocha, Jaime ; Doiron, Brent ; Shea-Brown, Eric ; Josić, Krešimir ; Reyes, Alexander. / Correlation between neural spike trains increases with firing rate. In: Nature. 2007 ; Vol. 448, No. 7155. pp. 802-806.
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