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Decoding the activity of neuronal populations in macaque primary visual cortex

Graf, Arnulf B. A. and Kohn, Adam and Jazayeri, Mehrdad and Movshon, J. Anthony (2011) Decoding the activity of neuronal populations in macaque primary visual cortex. Nature Neuroscience, 14 (2). pp. 239-245. ISSN 1097-6256.

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Visual function depends on the accuracy of signals carried by visual cortical neurons. Combining information across neurons should improve this accuracy because single neuron activity is variable. We examined the reliability of information inferred from populations of simultaneously recorded neurons in macaque primary visual cortex. We considered a decoding framework that computes the likelihood of visual stimuli from a pattern of population activity by linearly combining neuronal responses and tested this framework for orientation estimation and discrimination. We derived a simple parametric decoder assuming neuronal independence and a more sophisticated empirical decoder that learned the structure of the measured neuronal response distributions, including their correlated variability. The empirical decoder used the structure of these response distributions to perform better than its parametric variant, indicating that their structure contains critical information for sensory decoding. These results show how neuronal responses can best be used to inform perceptual decision-making.

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Additional Information:© 2011 Nature Publishing Group. Received 27 September 2010; accepted 14 December 2010; published online 9 January 2011; corrected online 16 January 2011 (details online). We are grateful to M. Smith and R. Kelly for their help with recording and to E. Simoncelli and M. Yanike for helpful comments on the manuscript. This research was supported by US National Institutes of Health research grants EY2017 and EY4440, training grant EY7158 and the Swartz Foundation. Author Contributions: A.B.A.G., A.K. and J.A.M. designed the experiments, A.B.A.G. and A.K. collected the data, A.B.A.G. created the models and analyzed the data, A.B.A.G. and J.A.M. wrote the manuscript, and A.K. and M.J. contributed to the intellectual development of the project and to the writing of the manuscript.
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Swartz FoundationUNSPECIFIED
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Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110228-150311210
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:22557
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:03 Mar 2011 20:12
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 02:38

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