Action potentials carry nerve signals in individual neurons and somehow encode information. My question is if it is possible to read that information carried by the nerve signal and feed it into a computer to understand what information it contains?


1 Answer 1


Neural info is contained in spike trains, mainly in terms of spike frequency and related parameters. These spike trains in individual neurons can be measured by techniques like patch clamp and Ca2+ imaging. These techniques are all pretty sophisticated and computer assisted for sure.

However, by recording of action potentials in e.g. the optic nerve, we cannot possibly know what the person is seeing. Nonetheless, by cleverly mapping responses of conglomerates of neurons we can make estimates of what the information carried in the nerve fibers mean. For example:

- Guger et al., Front Neurosci (2011); 5 85


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