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Dominic John Repici
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Action Potential

 
AP - An action potential is the instantaneous value conveyed by a biological axon when its neuron fires. Axons carry these pulse-signals, called action potentials, from neurons or input devices to other neurons or output devices.

In biological neural networks, an action potential is an instantaneous firing, or depolarization of the neuron. Action potentials are very occasionally referred to as "axon potentials" in biological literature (could this just be some kind of occasional aphasia that gets expressed on the finger-tips while typing?). Action (not axon?) potentials in biological neural networks have the following characteristics:
  1. There is a threshold in the total level of input stimulation required to generate an action potential.

  2. There is an all-or-none law which guarantees that once there is a sufficient level of input stimulus to generate an action potential, it is always full size.

  3. There is a strength-latency relationship, which combines with a refractory period and the threshold, to produce a frequency modulated encoding of an analog output level representing the strength of the total input over time.

Axon Potential: In Netlab v0.1, the term "Axon Potential" was a special term used as a synonym for what is now called an: "Axon Level" (AL). In Netlab v 0.3a and greater, the term Axon Level is now used exclusively to denote the analog value (or level) represented in biological neurons by frequency-modulated pulse trains.

In the future, a special mode may be added to Netlab, that will permit something much closer to true, pulsed, action-potentials. For this reason, it is recommended that the term Axon Level be used when describing the current (level based) outputs of Netlab's neurons. This will eliminate any confusion caused by using a term that is too closely related to the biological term: action potential.



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