Understanding the Brain

Phase-of-firing code

From Cognopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

In neuroscience, phase-of-firing code is a neural coding scheme that combines the spike count code with a time reference based on slow oscillations.

It has been shown that neurons in some cortical sensory areas encode rich naturalistic stimuli in terms of their spike times relative to the phase of ongoing network fluctuations, rather than only in terms of their spike count.[1] Oscillations reflect local field potential signals. It is often categorized as a temporal code although the time label used for spikes is coarse grained. That is, four discrete values for phase are enough to represent all the information content in this kind of code with respect to the phase of oscillations in low frequencies. Phase-of-firing code is loosely based on the phase precession phenomena observed in place cells of the hippocampus.


  1. Marcelo A. Montemurro, Malte J. Rasch, Yusuke Murayama, Nikos K. Logothetis, Stefano Panzeri, Phase-of-Firing Coding of Natural Visual Stimuli in Primary Visual Cortex, Current Biology, Volume 18, Issue 5, 11 March 2008, Pages 375-380, ISSN 0960-9822, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2008.02.023. [1]

See also