Bits and brains: Information flow in the nervous system

William Bialek, Michael DeWeese, Fred Rieke, David Warland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Until recently there have been no convincing quantitative measurements on the rates of information transmission in real neurons. Here we review the theoretical basis for making such measurements, together with the data which demonstrate remarkably high information rates in a variety of systems. In fact these rates are within a factor of two of the absolute physical limits set by the entropy of neural spike trains. Theses observations lead to sharp theoretical questions about the structure of the code and the strategy for adapting the code to different ensembles of input signals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-593
Number of pages13
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Nov 15 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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