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This article is part of the supplement: Twentieth Annual Computational Neuroscience Meeting: CNS*2011

Open Access Poster presentation

Measures of statistical dispersion based on Entropy and Fisher information

Lubomir Kostal*, Petr Lansky and Ondrej Pokora

  • * Corresponding author: Lubomir Kostal

Author Affiliations

Department of Computational Neuroscience. Institute of Physiology, Praha, Czech Republic

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BMC Neuroscience 2011, 12(Suppl 1):P255  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-12-S1-P255

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:18 July 2011

© 2011 Kostal et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Poster presentation

We propose and discuss two information-based measures of statistical dispersion suitable to description of interspike interval data. The measures are compared with the standard deviation. Although the standard deviation is used routinely, we show that it is not well suited to quantify some aspects of dispersion which are often expected intuitively, such as the degree of randomness. The proposed dispersion measures are not mutually independent, however, each describes the firing regularity from a different point of view. We discuss relationships between the measures and describe their extreme values. We also apply the method to real experimental data from spontaneously active olfactory neurons of rats. Our results and conclusions are applicable to a wide range of situations where the distribution of a continuous positive random variable is of interest.


This work was supported by AV0Z50110509 and Centre for Neuroscience LC554.


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    Eur J Neurosci 2007, 26:2693-2701. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL

  2. Kostal L, Marsalek P: Neuronal jitter: can we measure the spike timing dispersion differently?

    Chin J Physiol 2010, 53:454-464. OpenURL