Action Potential Initiation in the Hodgkin-Huxley Model

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Action Potential Initiation in the Hodgkin-Huxley Model

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Title: Action Potential Initiation in the Hodgkin-Huxley Model
Author: Colwell, Lucy J.; Brenner, Michael

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Citation: Colwell, Lucy J. and Michael P. Brenner. 2009. Action potential initiation in the Hodgkin-Huxley Model. PLoS Computational Biololgy 5(1): e1000265.
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Abstract: A recent paper of B. Naundorf et al. described an intriguing negative correlation between variability of the onset potential at which an action potential occurs (the onset span) and the rapidity of action potential initiation (the onset rapidity). This correlation was demonstrated in numerical simulations of the Hodgkin-Huxley model. Due to this antagonism, it is argued that Hodgkin-Huxley-type models are unable to explain action potential initiation observed in cortical neurons in vivo or in vitro. Here we apply a method from theoretical physics to derive an analytical characterization of this problem. We analytically compute the probability distribution of onset potentials and analytically derive the inverse relationship between onset span and onset rapidity. We find that the relationship between onset span and onset rapidity depends on the level of synaptic background activity. Hence we are able to elucidate the regions of parameter space for which the Hodgkin-Huxley model is able to accurately describe the behavior of this system.
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