White-Noise Analysis of a Neuron Chain: An Application of the Wiener Theory

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Science  17 Mar 1972:
Vol. 175, Issue 4027, pp. 1276-1278
DOI: 10.1126/science.175.4027.1276


The Wiener theory of nonlinear system identification was applied to a three-stage neuron chain in the catfish retina in order to determine the functional relationship between the artificial polarization of the horizontal cell membrane potential and the resulting discharge of the ganglion cell. A mathematical model was obtained that can predict quantitatively, with reasonable accuracy, the nonlinear, dynamic behavior of the neuron chain. The applicability of the method is discussed. We conclude that this is a very powerful method in the analysis of information transfer in the central nervous system.