Brain at work : time, sparseness and superposition principles
Molotchnikoff, Stephane; Rouat, Jean
Abstract : Many studies explored mechanisms through which the brain encodes sensory inputs allowing a coherent behavior. The brain could identify stimuli via a hierarchical stream of activity leading to a cardinal neuron responsive to one particular object. The opportunity to record from numerous neurons offered investigators the capability of examining simultaneously the functioning of many cells. These approaches suggested encoding processes that are parallel rather than serial. Binding the many features of a stimulus may be accomplished through an induced synchronization of cell’s action potentials. These interpretations are supported by experimental data and offer many advantages but also several shortcomings. We argue for a coding mechanism based on a sparse synchronization paradigm. We show that synchronization of spikes is a fast and efficient mode to encode the representation of objects based on feature bindings. We introduce the view that sparse synchronization coding presents an interesting venue in probing brain encoding mechanisms as it allows the functional establishment of multilayered and time-conditioned neuronal networks or multislice networks. We propose a model based on integrate-and-fire spiking neurons.
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