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Models of Neural Systems

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Recurrent Cortical Competition: Strengthen or Weaken?
Citation key Adorjan2000
Author Adorjan, P. and Schwabe, L. and Piepenbrock, C. and Obermayer, K.
Title of Book Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 12
Pages 89 – 95
Year 2000
Address Cambridge, Massachusetts
Editor Amari S., Leen T., and Müller K.
Publisher MIT Press
Abstract We investigate the short term dynamics of recurrent competition and neural activity in the primary visual cortex in terms of information processing and in the context of orientation selectivity. We propose that after stimulus onset, the strength of the recurrent excitation decreases due to fast synaptic depression. As a consequence, the network is shifted from an initially highly nonlinear to a more linear operating regime. Sharp orientation tuning is established in the first highly competitive phase. In the second and less competitive phase, precise signaling of multiple orientations and long range modulation, e.g., by intra- and inter-areal connections becomes possible (surround effects). Thus the network first extracts the salient features from the stimulus, and then starts to process the details. We show that this signal processing strategy is optimal if the neurons have limited bandwidth and their objective is to transmit the maximum amount of information in any time interval beginning with the stimulus onset.
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