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Publication Detail
Noisy Synaptic Conductance: Bug or a Feature?
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Rusakov DA, Savtchenko LP, Latham PE
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Trends in Neurosciences
  • Status:
  • Print ISSN:
© 2020 The Authors More often than not, action potentials fail to trigger neurotransmitter release. And even when neurotransmitter is released, the resulting change in synaptic conductance is highly variable. Given the energetic cost of generating and propagating action potentials, and the importance of information transmission across synapses, this seems both wasteful and inefficient. However, synaptic noise arising from variable transmission can improve, in certain restricted conditions, information transmission. Under broader conditions, it can improve information transmission per release, a quantity that is relevant given the energetic constraints on computing in the brain. Here we discuss the role, both positive and negative, synaptic noise plays in information transmission and computation in the brain.
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