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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 595398, 16 pages
Research Article

The Effect of Neural Noise on Spike Time Precision in a Detailed CA3 Neuron Model

1Department of Physiology, First Medical Faculty, Charles University in Prague, Albertov 5, 12800 Praha 2, Czech Republic
2Department of Pathological Physiology, Medical Faculty, Charles University in Prague, U nemocnice 5, 12853 Praha 2, Czech Republic
3Faculty of Biomedical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, Nam. Sitna 3105, 27201 Kladno, Czech Republic

Received 30 September 2011; Revised 21 December 2011; Accepted 23 January 2012

Academic Editor: Reinoud Maex

Copyright © 2012 Eduard Kuriscak et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Experimental and computational studies emphasize the role of the millisecond precision of neuronal spike times as an important coding mechanism for transmitting and representing information in the central nervous system. We investigate the spike time precision of a multicompartmental pyramidal neuron model of the CA3 region of the hippocampus under the influence of various sources of neuronal noise. We describe differences in the contribution to noise originating from voltage-gated ion channels, synaptic vesicle release, and vesicle quantal size. We analyze the effect of interspike intervals and the voltage course preceding the firing of spikes on the spike-timing jitter. The main finding of this study is the ranking of different noise sources according to their contribution to spike time precision. The most influential is synaptic vesicle release noise, causing the spike jitter to vary from 1 ms to 7 ms of a mean value 2.5 ms. Of second importance was the noise incurred by vesicle quantal size variation causing the spike time jitter to vary from 0.03 ms to 0.6 ms. Least influential was the voltage-gated channel noise generating spike jitter from 0.02 ms to 0.15 ms.