Summary: Neurocomputing 4446 (2002) 789794
Modeling temporal combination selective neurons
of the songbird
Patrick J. Drew, L.F. Abbott
Volen Center for Complex Systems and Department of Biology, Brandeis University, Waltham,
MA 02454, USA
Some neurons in the nucleus HVc of the songbird respond vigorously to sequences of syllables
as they appear in the bird's own song (such as AB), but they respond weakly or not at all
when the same syllables are played individually (A or B) or in a di erent order (BA). We
have constructed a network model that replicates this temporal sequence selectivity. The model
is based on recurrently connected networks that produce strong resonant responses when the
pattern of excitation evoked by a stimulus matches the pattern of excitation generated internally
within the network. In the model, syllable B does not generate such a resonant response by itself.
However, if syllable A is presented to the network followed by syllable B, the activity generated
by A modi˙es the e ective connectivity of the network making it resonantly responsive to B.
This produces a highly selective response to the sequence of syllables AB, but not to any other
combination. c 2002 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.
Keywords: Temporal sequence selectivity; Birdsong