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Understanding Auditory Spectro-Temporal Receptive Fields and Their Changes with Input Statistics by Efficient Coding Principles

Zhao, LY; Zhaoping, L; (2011) Understanding Auditory Spectro-Temporal Receptive Fields and Their Changes with Input Statistics by Efficient Coding Principles. PLoS Computational Biology , 7 (8) , Article e1002123. 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002123. Green and gold open access

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Abstract

Spectro-temporal receptive fields (STRFs) have been widely used as linear approximations to the signal transform from sound spectrograms to neural responses along the auditory pathway. Their dependence on statistical attributes of the stimuli, such as sound intensity, is usually explained by nonlinear mechanisms and models. Here, we apply an efficient coding principle which has been successfully used to understand receptive fields in early stages of visual processing, in order to provide a computational understanding of the STRFs. According to this principle, STRFs result from an optimal tradeoff between maximizing the sensory information the brain receives, and minimizing the cost of the neural activities required to represent and transmit this information. Both terms depend on the statistical properties of the sensory inputs and the noise that corrupts them. The STRFs should therefore depend on the input power spectrum and the signal-to-noise ratio, which is assumed to increase with input intensity. We analytically derive the optimal STRFs when signal and noise are approximated as Gaussians. Under the constraint that they should be spectro-temporally local, the STRFs are predicted to adapt from being band-pass to low-pass filters as the input intensity reduces, or the input correlation becomes longer range in sound frequency or time. These predictions qualitatively match physiological observations. Our prediction as to how the STRFs should be determined by the input power spectrum could readily be tested, since this spectrum depends on the stimulus ensemble. The potentials and limitations of the efficient coding principle are discussed.

Type:Article
Title:Understanding Auditory Spectro-Temporal Receptive Fields and Their Changes with Input Statistics by Efficient Coding Principles
Open access status:An open access publication. A version is also available from UCL Discovery.
DOI:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002123
Publisher version:http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002123
Language:English
Additional information:© 2011 Zhao, Zhaoping. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords:TEMPORAL CONTRAST ADAPTATION, NATURAL IMAGES, INFERIOR COLLICULUS, REVERSE-CORRELATION, RESPONSE PROPERTIES, INFORMATION REDUNDANCY, CORTEX NEURONS, SOUNDS, MIDBRAIN, REPRESENTATION
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Computer Science

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