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Efficient neural decoding of self-location with a deep recurrent network

Tampuu, A; Matiisen, T; Ólafsdóttir, HF; Barry, C; Vicente, R; (2019) Efficient neural decoding of self-location with a deep recurrent network. PLoS Computational Biology , 15 (2) , Article e1006822. 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006822. Green open access

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Abstract

Place cells in the mammalian hippocampus signal self-location with sparse spatially stable firing fields. Based on observation of place cell activity it is possible to accurately decode an animal's location. The precision of this decoding sets a lower bound for the amount of information that the hippocampal population conveys about the location of the animal. In this work we use a novel recurrent neural network (RNN) decoder to infer the location of freely moving rats from single unit hippocampal recordings. RNNs are biologically plausible models of neural circuits that learn to incorporate relevant temporal context without the need to make complicated assumptions about the use of prior information to predict the current state. When decoding animal position from spike counts in 1D and 2D-environments, we show that the RNN consistently outperforms a standard Bayesian approach with either flat priors or with memory. In addition, we also conducted a set of sensitivity analysis on the RNN decoder to determine which neurons and sections of firing fields were the most influential. We found that the application of RNNs to neural data allowed flexible integration of temporal context, yielding improved accuracy relative to the more commonly used Bayesian approaches and opens new avenues for exploration of the neural code.

Type: Article
Title: Efficient neural decoding of self-location with a deep recurrent network
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006822
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006822
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright: © 2019 Tampuu et al. 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: Neurons, Recurrent neural networks, Action potentials, Memory, Neural networks, Animal behavior, Machine learning algorithms, Bayesian method
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Cell and Developmental Biology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10069411
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