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J Comput Neurosci. 2002 Sep-Oct;13(2):111-24.

Computation by ensemble synchronization in recurrent networks with synaptic depression.

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Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


While computation by ensemble synchronization is considered to be a robust and efficient way for information processing in the cortex (C. Von der Malsburg and W. Schneider (1986) Biol. Cybern. 54: 29-40; W. Singer (1994) Inter. Rev. Neuro. 37: 153-183; J.J. Hopfield (1995) Nature 376: 33-36; E. Vaadia et al. (1995) Nature 373: 515-518), the neuronal mechanisms that might be used to achieve it are yet to be uncovered. Here we analyze a neural network model in which the computations are performed by near coincident firing of neurons in response to external inputs. This near coincident firing is enabled by activity dependent depression of inter-neuron connections. We analyze the network behavior by using a mean-field approximation, which allows predicting the network response to various inputs. We demonstrate that the network is very sensitive to temporal aspects of the inputs. In particular, periodically applied inputs of increasing frequency result in different response profiles. Moreover, applying combinations of different stimuli lead to a complex response, which cannot be easily predicted from responses to individual components. These results demonstrate that networks with synaptic depression can perform complex computations on time-dependent inputs utilizing the ability to generate temporally synchronous firing of single neurons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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