Frequency coding is considered one of the most common coding strategies employed by neural systems. This fact leads, in experiments as well as in theoretical studies, to construction of so-called transfer functions, where the output firing frequency is plotted against the input intensity. The term firing frequency can be understood differently in different contexts. Basically, it means that the number of spikes over an interval of preselected length is counted and then divided by the length of the interval, but due to the obvious limitations, the length of observation cannot be arbitrarily long. Then firing frequency is defined as reciprocal to the mean interspike interval. In parallel, an instantaneous firing frequency can be defined as reciprocal to the length of current interspike interval, and by taking a mean of these, the definition can be extended to introduce the mean instantaneous firing frequency. All of these definitions of firing frequency are compared in an effort to contribute to a better understanding of the input-output properties of a neuron.

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