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From stimulus encoding to feature extraction in weakly electric fish

Gabbiani, Fabrizio and Metzner, Walter and Wessel, Ralf and Koch, Christof (1996) From stimulus encoding to feature extraction in weakly electric fish. Nature, 384 (6609). pp. 564-567. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/384564a0.

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ANIMALS acquire information about sensory stimuli around them and encode it using an analogue or a pulse-based code. Beha-viourally relevant features need to be extracted from this representation for further processing. In the electrosensory system of weakly electric fish, single P-type electroreceptor afferents accurately encode the time course of random modulations in electric-field amplitude1. We applied a stimulus estimation method2 and a signal-detection method to both P-receptor afferents and their targets, the pyramidal cells in the electrosensory lateral-line lobe. We found that although pyramidal cells do not accurately convey detailed information about the time course of the stimulus, they reliably encode up- and downstrokes of random modulations in electric-field amplitude. The presence of such temporal features is best signalled by short bursts of spikes, probably caused by dendritic processing, rather than by isolated spikes. Furthermore, pyramidal cells outperform P-receptor afferents in signalling the presence of temporal features in the stimulus waveform. We conclude that the sensory neurons are specialized to acquire information accurately with little processing, whereas the following stage extracts behaviourally relevant features, thus performing a nonlinear pattern-recognition task.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Gabbiani, Fabrizio0000-0003-4966-3027
Koch, Christof0000-0001-6482-8067
Additional Information:© 1996 Nature Publishing Group. Received 18 June; accepted 11 October 1996. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. We thank J. Juranek for computer assistance, and M. Konishi, W. Kristan and G. Laurent for comments. This work was supported by grants from NSF, NIMH, UCR, the Center for Neuromorphic Systems Engineering as a part of NSF's Engineering Research Center program and the Sloan Center for Theoretical Neuroscience.
Group:Koch Laboratory (KLAB)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Center for Neuromorphic Systems Engineering, CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Sloan Center for Theoretical NeuroscienceUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6609
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130816-103142256
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:40373
Deposited By: KLAB Import
Deposited On:26 Jan 2008 04:32
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:48

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