Bracciali A, Brunelli M, Cataldo E & Degano P (2009) Formal Models of the Calyx of Held. In: Condon A, Harel D, Kok J, Salomaa A & Winfree E (eds.) Algorithmic Bioprocesses. Natural Computing Series, 6. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, pp. 331-366. http://www.springerlink.com/content/vt6u7g0315414806/
We survey some recent work on the behavior of the calyx of Held synapse. The analysis considered are based on formal and quantitative models aimed at capturing emerging properties about signal transmission and plasticity phenomena. While surveying work about a specific and real-scale biological system, we distinguish between deterministic and stochastic approaches. We elaborate on the fact that in some cases, as in the calyx, the latter ones seem to be more adequate. The stochastic models, which we have developed, are based on a computational interpretation of biological systems. We illustrate the advantages of this approach in terms of expressiveness.