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Stimulus number, duration and intensity encoding in randomly connected attractor networks with synaptic depression



Stimulus number, duration and intensity encoding in randomly connected attractor networks with synaptic depression



Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience 7: 59



Randomly connected recurrent networks of excitatory groups of neurons can possess a multitude of attractor states. When the internal excitatory synapses of these networks are depressing, the attractor states can be destabilized with increasing input. This leads to an itinerancy, where with either repeated transient stimuli, or increasing duration of a single stimulus, the network activity advances through sequences of attractor states. We find that the resulting network state, which persists beyond stimulus offset, can encode the number of stimuli presented via a distributed representation of neural activity with non-monotonic tuning curves for most neurons. Increased duration of a single stimulus is encoded via different distributed representations, so unlike an integrator, the network distinguishes separate successive presentations of a short stimulus from a single presentation of a longer stimulus with equal total duration. Moreover, different amplitudes of stimulus cause new, distinct activity patterns, such that changes in stimulus number, duration and amplitude can be distinguished from each other. These properties of the network depend on dynamic depressing synapses, as they disappear if synapses are static. Thus, short-term synaptic depression allows a network to store separately the different dynamic properties of a spatially constant stimulus.

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Accession: 055928253

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23675344

DOI: 10.3389/fncom.2013.00059


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