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Biol Cybern. 2003 Jan;88(1):33-45.

Computational model of the cockroach escape behavior: winner and losers in a population code.

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The Center for Neural Computation, Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91904, Israel.


I present a comprehensive biologically oriented computational model to account for the escape response of the cockroach on the ground. This model is an expansion of previous work that accounted only for discriminating left from right wind directions [Ezrachi et al. (1999) Biol Cybern 81: 89-99]. The model is composed of computational elements describing the biological processes taking place in the various neurons and includes input which emulates empirical data. With this model it is possible to obtain escape behavior that resembles natural behavior. The model is used to address an ongoing debate as to whether the cockroach's turn direction is determined by computations carried out by the entire neuronal population (PC) or rather by a "winner-take-all" (WTA) mechanism. I suggest that the computation mechanism that underlies the cockroach escape response is composed of both PC and WTA principles. Based on the properties of the suggested new mechanism I denote it a "Darwinian population code."

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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