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1 Department of Psychology

Abstract : Simultaneous recordings of an increasing number of neurons have recently become available, leading to a renewed interest in cell assemblies. However, so far few methods have been proposed to handle multiple-neuron activity. In this paper, we extract and investigate all the possible temporal neural activity patterns based on synchronized firings of neurons recorded on multiple electrodes, or based on bursts of single-electrode activity in cat primary auditory cortex. We apply this to responses to periodic click trains or amplitude modulated AM noise by obtaining for each pattern, comprising both overall firing rate and synchronized rate, its temporal modulation transfer function. An algorithm that maximizes the mutual information between all patterns and stimuli subsequently leads to the identification of patterns that optimally decode the stimulus repetition rate or modulation frequency MF. We show that temporal stimulus information contained in multi-electrode synchronized firing or spike bursts is not redundant with single-electrode firings and leads to improved efficiency of MF decoding. We also show that the combined use of firing rate and temporal phase-locking codes leads to a better discrimination of the MF, mostly because firing rate is able to code higher MFs >16Hz than the temporal code. Spike bursts might be more efficient than synchronized firings to discriminate low MFs. Finally, we show that even the combined use of firing rate and phase-locking leads to poor MF coding, which implies that other codes may be actually used by the brain for processing temporal stimulus features.

keyword : Spiking neurons Data analysis Population coding

Autor: Boris Gourévitch - Jos Eggermont -



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