Differential population coding of natural movies through spike counts and temporal sequences

  • The traditional view on coding in the cortex is that populations of neurons primarily convey stimulus information through the spike count. However, given the speed of sensory processing, it has been hypothesized that sensory encoding may rely on the spike-timing relationships among neurons. Here, we use a recently developed method based on Optimal Transport Theory called SpikeShip to study the encoding of natural movies by high-dimensional ensembles of neurons in visual cortex. SpikeShip is a generic measure of dissimilarity between spike train patterns based on the relative spike-timing relations among all neurons and with computational complexity similar to the spike count. We compared spike-count and spike-timing codes in up to N > 8000 neurons from six visual areas during natural video presentations. Using SpikeShip, we show that temporal spiking sequences convey substantially more information about natural movies than population spike-count vectors when the neural population size is larger than about 200 neurons. Remarkably, encoding through temporal sequences did not show representational drift both within and between blocks. By contrast, population firing rates showed better coding performance when there were few active neurons. Furthermore, the population firing rate showed memory across frames and formed a continuous trajectory across time. In contrast to temporal spiking sequences, population firing rates exhibited substantial drift across repetitions and between blocks. These findings suggest that spike counts and temporal sequences constitute two different coding schemes with distinct information about natural movies.

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Author:Boris Sotomayor-GomezORCiD, Francesco BattagliaORCiD, Martin VinckORCiD
Parent Title (English):bioRxiv
Document Type:Preprint
Date of Publication (online):2023/06/29
Date of first Publication:2023/06/29
Publishing Institution:Universit├Ątsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2023/07/12
Page Number:20
Institutes:Angeschlossene und kooperierende Institutionen / MPI f├╝r Hirnforschung
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY-NC-ND - Namensnennung - Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitungen 4.0 International