Reading spike timing without a clock: intrinsic decoding of spike trains

Panzeri, S., Ince, R. A.A. , Diamond, M. E. and Kayser, C. (2014) Reading spike timing without a clock: intrinsic decoding of spike trains. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 369(1637), p. 20120467. (doi:10.1098/rstb.2012.0467)

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The precise timing of action potentials of sensory neurons relative to the time of stimulus presentation carries substantial sensory information that is lost or degraded when these responses are summed over longer time windows. However, it is unclear whether and how downstream networks can access information in precise time-varying neural responses. Here, we review approaches to test the hypothesis that the activity of neural populations provides the temporal reference frames needed to decode temporal spike patterns. These approaches are based on comparing the single-trial stimulus discriminability obtained from neural codes defined with respect to network-intrinsic reference frames to the discriminability obtained from codes defined relative to the experimenter's computer clock. Application of this formalism to auditory, visual and somatosensory data shows that information carried by millisecond-scale spike times can be decoded robustly even with little or no independent external knowledge of stimulus time. In cortex, key components of such intrinsic temporal reference frames include dedicated neural populations that signal stimulus onset with reliable and precise latencies, and low-frequency oscillations that can serve as reference for partitioning extended neuronal responses into informative spike patterns.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kayser, Professor Christoph and Panzeri, Professor Stefano and Ince, Dr Robin
Authors: Panzeri, S., Ince, R. A.A., Diamond, M. E., and Kayser, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN (Online):1471-2970
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences 369(1637):20120467
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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