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Representing Where along with What Information in a Model of a Cortical Patch

Roudi, YAT; (2008) Representing Where along with What Information in a Model of a Cortical Patch. PLoS Computational Biology , 4 (3) 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000012. Green open access


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Behaving in the real world requires flexibly combining and maintaining information about both continuous and discrete variables. In the visual domain, several lines of evidence show that neurons in some cortical networks can simultaneously represent information about the position and identity of objects, and maintain this combined representation when the object is no longer present. The underlying network mechanism for this combined representation is, however, unknown. In this paper, we approach this issue through a theoretical analysis of recurrent networks. We present a model of a cortical network that can retrieve information about the identity of objects from incomplete transient cues, while simultaneously representing their spatial position. Our results show that two factors are important in making this possible: A) a metric organisation of the recurrent connections, and B) a spatially localised change in the linear gain of neurons. Metric connectivity enables a localised retrieval of information about object identity, while gain modulation ensures localisation in the correct position. Importantly, we find that the amount of information that the network can retrieve and retain about identity is strongly affected by the amount of information it maintains about position. This balance can be controlled by global signals that change the neuronal gain. These results show that anatomical and physiological properties, which have long been known to characterise cortical networks, naturally endow them with the ability to maintain a conjunctive representation of the identity and location of objects.

Type: Article
Title: Representing Where along with What Information in a Model of a Cortical Patch
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000012
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000012
Language: English
Additional information: © 2008 Roudi Y, Treves A. 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.
UCL classification: UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/177313
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