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Module 6: Figure decoding oscillatory information

Different modes of information decoding of Ca2+ oscillations.

There are two main ways of decoding information contained in Ca2+ oscillations. 1. Digital tracking. In the case of Response 1, there is a close correspondence between the Ca2+ transient and the downstream effector system. Examples of digital tracking occur in contractile cells and nerve terminals, where each Ca2+ transient triggers an all-or-none response. 2. Integrative tracking. In Response 2, each transient has a small effect on some dynamic processes that can adopt different equilibrium positions, as indicated by the broken line and yellow arrows. a. The resting position. b. At low frequencies, the process moves through a series of steps to a new equilibrium. c. The equilibrium moves to a higher level as the frequency is increased still further. The nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) shuttle (see inset at the bottom) is an example of a process that might function in such integrative tracking (see Module 6: Figure NFAT nuclear translocation).