Stationary and non-stationary occurrences of miniature end plate potentials are well described as stationary and non-stationary Poisson processes in the mollusc Navanax inermis

Mitchell S. Cappell, David C. Spray, Michael V.L. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Protractor muscles in the gastropod mollusc Navanax inermis exhibit typical spontaneous miniature end plate potentials with mean amplitude 1.71 ± 1.19 (standard deviation) mV. The evoked end plate potential is quantized, with a quantum equal to the miniature end plate potential amplitude. When their rate is stationary, occurrence of miniature end plate potentials is a random, Poisson process. When non-stationary, spontaneous miniature end plate potential occurrence is a non-stationary Poisson process, a Poisson process with the mean frequency changing with time. This extends the random Poisson model for miniature end plate potentials to the frequently observed non-stationary occurrence. Reported deviations from a Poisson process can sometimes be accounted for by the non-stationary Poisson process and more complex models, such as clustered release, are not always needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-250
Number of pages7
JournalBrain research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 28 1988



  • Binomial release
  • End plate potential
  • Gastropod
  • Miniature end plate potential
  • Mollusc
  • Navanax inermis
  • Non-stationary Poisson distribution
  • Postsynaptic potential
  • Quantum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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