Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Applications and limitations of linear response functions in models of neural circuits

10.10.2017

All functions of the brain are generated by neural circuits with complex nonlinear interactions and feedback loops. In the past decades, many of them were successfully described by less complex approaches based on linear response functions.

Tim Herfurth and Tatjana Tchumatchenko from the Theory of Neural Dynamics Group (Max Planck Institute for Brain Research) now dive into the wide variety of applications and the limitations of these models and discuss why alternatives are needed and what they may be.


The stimulus (red trace) produces a spiking response within its neurons (thin black bars). Within linear response theory, the neuronal response is a frequency-filtered version of the stimulus.

Herfurth/ Tchumatchenko (Max Planck Institute for Brain Research)

Linear response functions were originally developed to understand phenomena in physics and have become an important tool in neuroscience. They lead to deeper insight into diverse areas of neuroscience such as rate dynamics, synchrony, global oscillations, and information theory.

Herfurth: “Linear response functions have been applied to successfully predict the firing activity for a given sensory stimulus, e.g. the response of a retina to a light stimulus. These functions were also useful in determining when and how neurons will synchronize or how much information they transmit”.

However, the linear response concept is now facing its limitation because it was originally developed for systems which fulfill certain stationarity criteria or which are subject to weak stimuli. For many processes in the brain, these do not apply and functions such as classification, adaptation or stimulus-dependent normalization require additional nonlinear contributions.

Tchumatchenko: ”The linear response theory makes predictions only about firing rates but not about changes in spike timing coordination, which is considered a fundamental unit of neural computation. One way to overcome these limitations is to add non-linearity and feedback loops”.

Publication: Herfurth, T. and Tchumatchenko, T. (2017). How linear response shaped models of neural circuits and the quest for alternatives. Curr Opinion in Neurobiology 46: 234-240.

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959438817300144

Dr. Arjan Vink | Max-Planck-Institut für Hirnforschung
Further information:
http://www.brain.mpg.de/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

nachricht Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>