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Science, Vol 273, Issue 5283, 1812-0 , 27 September 1996
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David Ferster

The electrical activity of neurons triggered by a stimulus is characterized by a large component of noise. In his Perspective, Ferster discusses new results which reveal that, in the cortex of the brain, noise is not just noise at all, but contains information reflecting the activity in other parts of the brain. Optical imaging of cortical neurons by Arieli et al., reported in this week's issue (p. 1868), provides this new conclusion about neural noise.

The author is in the Department of Neurobiology and Physiology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA. E-mail:

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Volume 273, Number 5283, Issue of 27 Sep 1996, pp. 1812-0.
Copyright 1996 by The American Association for the Advancement of Science. All rights reserved.