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Multi-neuronal signalling of spatial phase in V1



Multi-neuronal signalling of spatial phase in V1



Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 26(1-2): Abstract No -779 11



The relative phases of an image's Fourier components carry the information necessary to extract simple features and to recognize complex objects. Neighboring cortical neurons may differ substantially in their spatial phase tuning (DeAngelis et al. 1999), so simply summing the responses of a local cluster of neurons might reduce the local phase information that is crucial for further analysis. To test this, we used tetrodes and spike sorting techniques to record isolated responses of clusters of neurons in V1 of anesthetized, paralyzed macaques. We analyzed stable, well-driven responses of pairs of cells to transient presentations of patches of sinusoidal gratings. We quantified phase information by an extension of the cost-based metric approach (Victor and Purpura 1996) to multi-neuronal data. We constructed metrics that examine two aspects of multi-neuronal coding: response timing (ranging from coding via spike counts to coding via precise spike timing) and the contribution of the multi-neuronal activity (ranging from coding via summed population activity to coding via labeled lines). We found that the informative precision of spike times across neurons and within neurons was comparable, typically 10 to 40 ms. Jointly analyzed responses were only partially redundant about spatial phase, even when both neurons in the recorded cluster preferred similar spatial phases. When the preferred phases varied substantially in the cluster, redundancy in the joint activity was reduced only if response decoding was sensitive both to the neuron of origin of spikes and to their timing.

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