University of Cambridge > > CUED Control Group Seminars > A canonical brain computation: from mechanism to purpose

A canonical brain computation: from mechanism to purpose

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  • UserDr. Yashar Ahmadian, University of Cambridge
  • ClockThursday 26 November 2020, 14:00-15:00
  • HouseOnline (Zoom).

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Thiago Burghi.

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To support global perception, neural networks in the cerebral cortex have to integrate information across local stimulus features. Such integration manifests, for example, in “normalization”: the sublinear summation of responses to combinations of local features. Normalization is performed across cortical areas and is considered a canonical brain computation. While normalization is typically sub-additive and suppressive, its sublinearity weakens with diminishing stimulus strength. I will start by reviewing a parsimonious model of cortical circuitry which mechanistically explains this weakening, and moreover predicts a transition to facilitative and super-additive multi-feature integration for weak stimuli. I will then present a normative theory of this transition in the case of the primary visual cortex. I will show how the notion of optimal coding of natural scenes, in the presence of biological noise, robustly predicts the same transition from sub- to super-additive multi-input integration.

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This talk is part of the CUED Control Group Seminars series.

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