- Timescales of multineuronal activity patterns reflect temporal structure of visual stimuli (2011)
- The investigation of distributed coding across multiple neurons in the cortex remains to this date a challenge. Our current understanding of collective encoding of information and the relevant timescales is still limited. Most results are restricted to disparate timescales, focused on either very fast, e.g., spike-synchrony, or slow timescales, e.g., firing rate. Here, we investigated systematically multineuronal activity patterns evolving on different timescales, spanning the whole range from spike-synchrony to mean firing rate. Using multi-electrode recordings from cat visual cortex, we show that cortical responses can be described as trajectories in a high-dimensional pattern space. Patterns evolve on a continuum of coexisting timescales that strongly relate to the temporal properties of stimuli. Timescales consistent with the time constants of neuronal membranes and fast synaptic transmission (5–20 ms) play a particularly salient role in encoding a large amount of stimulus-related information. Thus, to faithfully encode the properties of visual stimuli the brain engages multiple neurons into activity patterns evolving on multiple timescales.
- Multidimensional patterns of neuronal activity: how do we see them? (2008)
- Poster presentation: Introduction The brain is a highly interconnected network of constantly interacting units. Understanding the collective behavior of these units requires a multi-dimensional approach. The results of such analyses are hard to visualize and interpret. Hence tools capable of dealing with such tasks become imperative. ....
- A framework for the analysis and visualization of multielectrode spike trains / von Ovidiu F. Jurjut (2009)
- The brain is a highly distributed system of constantly interacting neurons. Understanding how it gives rise to our subjective experiences and perceptions depends largely on understanding the neuronal mechanisms of information processing. These mechanisms are still poorly understood and a matter of ongoing debate remains the timescale on which the coding process evolves. Recently, multielectrode recordings of neuronal activity have begun to contribute substantially to elucidating how information coding is implemented in brain circuits. Unfortunately, analysis and interpretation of multielectrode data is often difficult because of their complexity and large volume. Here we propose a framework that enables the efficient analysis and visualization of multielectrode spiking data. First, using self-organizing maps, we identified reoccurring multi-neuronal spike patterns that evolve on various timescales. Second, we developed a color-based visualization technique for these patterns. They were mapped onto a three-dimensional color space based on their reciprocal similarities, i.e., similar patterns were assigned similar colors. This innovative representation enables a quick and comprehensive inspection of spiking data and provides a qualitative description of pattern distribution across entire datasets. Third, we quantified the observed pattern expression motifs and we investigated their contribution to the encoding of stimulus-related information. An emphasis was on the timescale on which patterns evolve, covering the temporal scales from synchrony up to mean firing rate. Using our multi-neuronal analysis framework, we investigated data recorded from the primary visual cortex of anesthetized cats. We found that cortical responses to dynamic stimuli are best described as successions of multi-neuronal activation patterns, i.e., trajectories in a multidimensional pattern space. Patterns that encode stimulus-specific information are not confined to a single timescale but can span a broad range of timescales, which are tightly related to the temporal dynamics of the stimuli. Therefore, the strict separation between synchrony and mean firing rate is somewhat artificial as these two represent only extreme cases of a continuum of timescales that are expressed in cortical dynamics. Results also indicate that timescales consistent with the time constants of neuronal membranes and fast synaptic transmission (~10-20 ms) appear to play a particularly salient role in coding, as patterns evolving on these timescales seem to be involved in the representation of stimuli with both slow and fast temporal dynamics.