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Who reads temporal information contained across synchronized and oscillatory spike trains?

MacLeod, Katrina and Bäcker, Alex and Laurent, Gilles (1998) Who reads temporal information contained across synchronized and oscillatory spike trains? Nature, 395 (6703). pp. 693-698. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/27201.

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Our inferences about brain mechanisms underlying perception rely on whether it is possible for the brain to 'reconstruct' a stimulus from the information contained in the spike trains from many neurons . How the brain actually accomplishes this reconstruction remains largely unknown. Oscillatory and synchronized activities in the brain of mammals have been correlated with distinct behavioural states or the execution of complex cognitive tasks and are proposed to participate in the 'binding' of individual features into more complex percepts,. But if synchronization is indeed relevant, what senses it? In insects, oscillatory synchronized activity in the early olfactory system seems to be necessary for fine odour discrimination and enables the encoding of information about a stimulus in spike times relative to the oscillatory 'clock'. Here we study the decoding of these coherent oscillatory signals. We identify a population of neurons downstream from the odour-activated, synchronized neuronal assemblies. These downstream neurons show odour responses whose specificity is degraded when their inputs are desynchronized. This degradation of selectivity consists of the appearance of responses to new odours and a loss ofdiscrimination of spike trains evoked by different odours. Suchloss of information is never observed in the upstream neurons whose activity is desynchronized. These results indicate that information encoded in time across ensembles of neurons converges onto single neurons downstream in the pathway.

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Laurent, Gilles0000-0002-2296-114X
Additional Information:© 1998 Macmillan Publishers Ltd. Received 5 June; accepted 10 August 1998. We thank E. M. Schuman and C. Koch for comments on the manuscript, and the members of the Laurent laboratory for constructive criticism during this work. This work was supported by NSF and NIDCD grants (to G.L.), the Sloan Center for Neuroscience at Caltech and an NIH training grant.
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National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication DisordersUNSPECIFIED
Caltech Sloan Center for NeuroscienceUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6703
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150605-110011401
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:58042
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:05 Jun 2015 18:08
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 21:58

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