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Oscillations, Phase-of-firing Coding and STDP: An Efficient Learning Scheme (Journal club)

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This week’s paper available here

Shortened abstract: Recent experiments have established that information can be encoded in the spike times of neurons relative to the phase of a background oscillation in the local field potential—a phenomenon referred to as “phase-of-firing coding” (PoFC). These firing phase preferences could result from combining an oscillation in the input current with a stimulus-dependent static component that would produce the variations in preferred phase. Here we show that PoFC has a major impact on downstream learning and decoding with the now well established spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). To be precise, we demonstrate with simulations how a single neuron equipped with STDP robustly detects a pattern of input currents automatically encoded in the phases of a subset of its afferents, and repeating at random intervals. This suggests a major functional role for oscillatory brain activity that has been widely reported experimentally.

This talk is part of the Machine Learning Journal Club series.

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