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Neuroreport. 2004 Dec 22;15(18):2761-4.

Population coding of orientation in the visual cortex of alert cats--an information theoretic analysis.

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Institute for Neuroinformatics, University/ETH Zürich, Switzerland.


We studied the encoding of stimulus orientation in the visual cortex of alert animals using information theory methods. Based on a labeled-line code, the encoding of orientation was mostly synergistic and only few pairs coded redundant. The synergy contributed about 20% of the information and was strongest for sites with distinct tuning curves. A recently proposed decomposition of synergy revealed that redundancy introduced by common tuning preferences is more than just compensated by noise correlations which mostly contributed synergistically. Based on a pooled response code, the contribution of noise correlations diminished resulting in a severe information loss. Thus, to operate economically, cortical neurons should either employ a labeled-line code or, if using pooled responses, be highly selective in choosing afferents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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