Recognition of nonlinearities in the neuronal encoding of repetitive spike trains has generated a number of models to explain this behavior. Here we develop the mathematics and a set of tests for two such models: the leaky integrator and the variable-gamma model. Both of these are nearly sufficient to explain the dynamic behavior of a number of repetitively firing, sensory neurons. Model parameters can be related to possible underlying basic mechanisms. Summed and nonsummed, spike-locked negative feedback are examined in conjunction with the models. Transfer functions are formulated to predict responses to steady state, steps, and sinusoidally varying stimuli in which output data are the times of spike-train events only. An electrical analog model for the leaky integrator is tested to verify predicted responses. Curve fitting and parameter variation techniques are explored for the purpose of extracting basic model parameters from spike train data. Sinusoidal analysis of spike trains appear to be a very accurate method for determining spike-locked feedback parameters, and it is to a large extent a model independent method that may also be applied to neuronal responses.

This content is only available as a PDF.