Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Neural Comput. 2007 Jul;19(7):1766-97.

Extracting number-selective responses from coherent oscillations in a computer model.

Author information

  • 1Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87544, USA. jeremymiller@ucla.edu

Abstract

Cortical neurons selective for numerosity may underlie an innate number sense in both animals and humans. We hypothesize that the number- selective responses of cortical neurons may in part be extracted from coherent, object-specific oscillations . Here, indirect evidence for this hypothesis is obtained by analyzing the numerosity information encoded by coherent oscillations in artificially generated spikes trains. Several experiments report that gamma-band oscillations evoked by the same object remain coherent, whereas oscillations evoked by separate objects are uncorrelated. Because the oscillations arising from separate objects would add in random phase to the total power summed across all stimulated neurons, we postulated that the total gamma activity, normalized by the number of spikes, should fall roughly as the square root of the number of objects in the scene, thereby implicitly encoding numerosity. To test the hypothesis, we examined the normalized gamma activity in multiunit spike trains, 50 to 1000 msec in duration, produced by a model feedback circuit previously shown to generate realistic coherent oscillations. In response to images containing different numbers of objects, regardless of their shape, size, or shading, the normalized gamma activity followed a square-root-of-n rule as long as the separation between objects was sufficiently large and their relative size and contrast differences were not too great. Arrays of winner-take-all numerosity detectors, each responding to normalized gamma activity within a particular band, exhibited tuning curves consistent with behavioral data. We conclude that coherent oscillations in principle could contribute to the number-selective responses of cortical neurons, although many critical issues await experimental resolution.

PMID:
17521279
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk