Neural Computation 9: 503-514, 1997
A conductance-based model of Na+ and K+ currents underlying action potential generation is introduced by simplifying the quantitative model of Hodgkin and Huxley (HH). If the time course of rate constants can be approximated by a pulse, HH equations can be solved analytically. Pulse-based (PB) models generate action potentials very similar to the HH model but are computationally faster. Unlike the classical integrate and fire (IAF) approach, they take into account the changes of conductances during and after the spike, which have a determinant influence in shaping neuronal responses. Similarities and differences between PB, IAF and HH models are illustrated for three cases: high-frequency repetitive firing, spike timing following random synaptic inputs, and network behavior in the presence of intrinsic currents.