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Optimal coupling in noisy feed forward leaky integrate and fire network

We study the stochastic resonance (SR) phenomenon in feed-forward networks of leaky integrate and fire (LIF) neurons. It is shown for various input frequencies, amplitudes and network sizes that the appropriate coupling strength can improve the output signal to noise ratio (SNR). We demonstrate that the value of the optimal coupling strength in the content of SR depends primarily on the absolute refractory period. Other circumstances, signal frequency, amplitude and network size play minor role to determine this value (see Figure 1), consequently it is possible to optimally pretune the system. The optimal coupling strength jumps to discrete values as the noise increases and we discuss the background of this phenomenon.

Figure 1

Optimal coupling strength as the function of noise intensity with different absolute refractory period. Dotted lines help the comparison of the first optimal coupling values.


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This study was supported by the grant EU FP6 Programme IST-4-027819-IP.

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Correspondence to László Zalányi.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Zalányi, L., Somogyvári, Z. & Érdi, P. Optimal coupling in noisy feed forward leaky integrate and fire network. BMC Neurosci 10, P302 (2009).

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  • Animal Model
  • Output Signal
  • Coupling Strength
  • Minor Role
  • Network Size