Variability Measures of Positive Random Variables
by Lubomir Kostal, Petr Lansky, Ondrej Pokora
During the stationary part of neuronal spiking response, the stimulus can be encoded in the firing rate, but also in the statistical structure of the interspike intervals. We propose and discuss two information-based measures of statistical dispersion of the interspike interval distribution, the entropy-based dispersion and Fisher information-based dispersion. The measures are compared with the frequently used concept of standard deviation. It is shown, that standard deviation is not well suited to quantify some aspects of dispersion that are often expected intuitively, such as the degree of randomness. The proposed dispersion measures are not entirely independent, although each describes the interspike intervals from a different point of view. The new methods are applied to common models of neuronal firing and to both simulated and experimental data.