It is usually assumed that the propagation of action potentials through neural media requires local excitability. Here we review recent investigations showing that action potentials can also propagate when the medium is locally bistable, provided a fast‐slow activator‐inhibitor dynamics exists, and a suitable source of noise is acting upon the system. We show that this phenomenon is generic to different types of neural models and noise sources, and describe experimental observations in electronic neurons that confirm these predictions. The possible relevance of these results to signal propagation in real neural systems is still an open question.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.