Volume 124, Number 5, December 2018
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Published online||28 December 2018|
Functional importance of noise in neuronal information processing
1 The Clinical Hospital of Chengdu Brain Science Institute, MOE Key Lab for Neuroinformation, School of Life Science and Technology, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China - Chengdu 610054, China
2 Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Maribor - Koroška cesta 160, SI-2000 Maribor, Slovenia
3 Complexity Science Hub Vienna - Josefstädterstraße 39, A-1080 Vienna, Austria
Received: 10 November 2018
Accepted: 10 December 2018
Noise is an inherent part of neuronal dynamics, and thus of the brain. It can be observed in neuronal activity at different spatiotemporal scales, including in neuronal membrane potentials, local field potentials, electroencephalography, and magnetoencephalography. A central research topic in contemporary neuroscience is to elucidate the functional role of noise in neuronal information processing. Experimental studies have shown that a suitable level of noise may enhance the detection of weak neuronal signals by means of stochastic resonance. In response, theoretical research, based on the theory of stochastic processes, nonlinear dynamics, and statistical physics, has made great strides in elucidating the mechanism and the many benefits of stochastic resonance in neuronal systems. In this perspective, we review recent research dedicated to neuronal stochastic resonance in biophysical mathematical models. We also explore the regulation of neuronal stochastic resonance, and we outline important open questions and directions for future research. A deeper understanding of neuronal stochastic resonance may afford us new insights into the highly impressive information processing in the brain.
PACS: 05.45.-a – Nonlinear dynamics and chaos / 87.19.L- – Neuroscience / 87.17.-d – Cell processes
© EPLA, 2018
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