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Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive Heterogenous Population Coding of a Short-Term Memory

Summary: Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive
Heterogenous Population Coding of a Short-Term Memory
and Decision Task
Joseph K. Jun,1 Paul Miller,2 Adria´n Herna´ndez,3 Antonio Zainos,3 Luis Lemus,3 Carlos D. Brody,1 and Ranulfo Romo3
1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Princeton Neuroscience Institute and Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
08544, 2Department of Biology and Volen Center for Complex Systems, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts 02454, and 3Instituto de Fisiología
Celular-Neurociencias, Universidad Nacional Auto´noma de Me´xico, 04510 Me´xico Distrito Federal, Me´xico
We examined neural spike recordings from prefrontal cortex (PFC) while monkeys performed a delayed somatosensory discrimination
task. In general, PFC neurons displayed great heterogeneity in response to the task. That is, although individual cells spiked reliably in
response types, some general patterns held. We used linear regression analysis on the spike data to both display the full heterogeneity of
the data and classify cells into categories. We compared different categories of cells and found little difference in their ability to carry
information about task variables or their correlation to behavior. This suggests a distributed neural code for the task rather than a highly
modularized one. Along this line, we compared the predictions of two theoretical models to the data. We found that cell types predicted
by both models were not represented significantly in the population. Our study points to a different class of models that should embrace
the inherent heterogeneity of the data, but should also account for the nonrandom features of the population.
Neural circuits have the amazing capacity to assimilate informa-
tion on-the-fly and to perform computations on dynamically
stored information (Fuster, 1973; Miller et al., 1991; Kojima and


Source: Andrzejak, Ralph Gregor - Departament de Tecnologia, Universitat Pompeu Fabra


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences