Operating in a reverberating regime enables rapid tuning of network states to task requirements

  • Neural circuits are able to perform computations under very diverse conditions and requirements. The required computations impose clear constraints on their fine-tuning: a rapid and maximally informative response to stimuli in general requires decorrelated baseline neural activity. Such network dynamics is known as asynchronous-irregular. In contrast, spatio-temporal integration of information requires maintenance and transfer of stimulus information over extended time periods. This can be realized at criticality, a phase transition where correlations, sensitivity and integration time diverge. Being able to flexibly switch, or even combine the above properties in a task-dependent manner would present a clear functional advantage. We propose that cortex operates in a "reverberating regime" because it is particularly favorable for ready adaptation of computational properties to context and task. This reverberating regime enables cortical networks to interpolate between the asynchronous-irregular and the critical state by small changes in effective synaptic strength or excitation-inhibition ratio. These changes directly adapt computational properties, including sensitivity, amplification, integration time and correlation length within the local network. We review recent converging evidence that cortex in vivo operates in the reverberating regime, and that various cortical areas have adapted their integration times to processing requirements. In addition, we propose that neuromodulation enables a fine-tuning of the network, so that local circuits can either decorrelate or integrate, and quench or maintain their input depending on task. We argue that this task-dependent tuning, which we call "dynamic adaptive computation," presents a central organization principle of cortical networks and discuss first experimental evidence.

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Author:Jens Wilting, Jonas Dehning, Joao Pinheiro Neto, Lucas Rudelt, Michael WibralORCiDGND, Johannes Zierenberg, Viola PriesemannORCiDGND
Pubmed Id:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30459567
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in systems neuroscience
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
Place of publication:Lausanne
Contributor(s):Sara J. Aton
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2018
Date of first Publication:2018/11/06
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2018/11/29
Tag:adaptation; balanced state; cognitive states; collective dynamics; criticality; hierarchy; neural network; neuromodulation
Issue:Art. 55
Page Number:8
First Page:1
Last Page:8
Copyright © 2018 Wilting, Dehning, Pinheiro Neto, Rudelt, Wibral, Zierenberg and Priesemann. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0