Coding Strategies in Unmyelinated Axons: Lessons from the Grashopper Auditory System

It is usually assumed that high temporal precision of neural responses increases their ability to transmit more information. All the more surprising in the grasshopper auditory system a high temporal precision at the level of receptor neurons is drastically reduced in ascending neurons only two synapses downstream, thus suggesting the transition from a temporal code to a rate code. A possible explanation for this shift in coding strategy considers the fact that auditory signals – once locally processed – have to spread a considerable distance along unmyelinated axons before they reach the brain, where decisions are made. We suggest that in these unmyelinated axons stochastic changes in action potential transmission speed can introduce spike-timing jitter, which accumulates over distance and hence favors rate coding [1]. Our hypothesis – which we propose to test in this project – provides an attractive explanation for the observed change in coding strategy and may support a more general computational principle for signal encoding in unmyelinated axons beyond the grasshopper auditory system (see A7).

Principal Investigators
Schreiber, Susanne Prof. Dr. rer. nat. (Details) (Computational Neurophysiology)

Duration of Project
Start date: 06/2011
End date: 05/2016

Ebbesen CL, Reifenstein ET, Tang Q, Burgalossi A, Ray S, Schreiber S, Kempter R, Brecht M (2016): Cell type-specific differences in spike timing and spike shape in rat parasubiculum and superficial medial entorhinal cortex. Cell Reports;

Blankenburg S, Wu W, Lindner B, Schreiber S (2015): Information filtering in resonant neurons. Journal of Computational Neuroscience, 39(3), 349-370, doi:10.1007/s10827-015-0580-6.

Rau F, Clemens J, Naumov V, Hennig RM, Schreiber S (2015): Firing-rate resonances in the peripheral auditory system of the cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus. J Comp Physiol A, doi: 10.1007/s00359-015-1036-1.

Roemschied FA, Eberhard MJB, Schleimer J-H, Ronacher B, Schreiber S (2014): Cell-intrinsic mechanisms of temperature compensation in a grasshopper sensory receptor neuron. eLife 2014;3:e02078.

Last updated on 2020-02-12 at 12:25