A. A. Lazar and E. A. Pnevmatikakis
Faithful Representation of Stimuli with a Population of Integrate-and-Fire Neurons
Neural Computation , Volume 20 , Number 11 , The MIT Press , pp. 2715-2744 , November 2008
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We consider a formal model of stimulus encoding with a circuit consisting of a bank of filters and an ensemble of integrate-and-fire neurons. Such models arise in olfactory systems, vision and hearing. We demonstrate that bandlimited stimuli can be faithfully represented with spike trains generated by the ensemble of neurons. We provide a stimulus reconstruction scheme based on the spike times of the ensemble of neurons and derive conditions for perfect recovery. The key result calls for the spike density of the neural population to be above the Nyquist rate. We also show that recovery is perfect if the number of neurons in the population is larger than a threshold value. Increasing the number of neurons to achieve a faithful representation of the sensory world is consistent with basic neurobiological thought. Finally we demonstrate that, in general, the problem of faithful recovery of stimuli from the spike train of single neurons is ill-posed. The stimulus can be recovered, however, from the information contained in the spike train of a population of neurons.


  author = "A. A. Lazar and E. A. Pnevmatikakis",
  title = "Faithful Representation of Stimuli with a Population of Integrate-and-Fire Neurons",
  year = 2008,
  journal = "Neural Computation",
  publisher = "The MIT Press",
  volume = 20,
  number = 11,
  pages = "2715-2744",
  month = "Nov"