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J Neurosci. 2009 Mar 25;29(12):3685-94. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4500-08.2009.

Correlated connectivity and the distribution of firing rates in the neocortex.

Author information

1
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York 11724, USA. akula@cshl.edu

Abstract

Two recent experimental observations pose a challenge to many cortical models. First, the activity in the auditory cortex is sparse, and firing rates can be described by a lognormal distribution. Second, the distribution of nonzero synaptic strengths between nearby cortical neurons can also be described by a lognormal distribution. Here we use a simple model of cortical activity to reconcile these observations. The model makes the experimentally testable prediction that synaptic efficacies onto a given cortical neuron are statistically correlated, i.e., it predicts that some neurons receive stronger synapses than other neurons. We propose a simple Hebb-like learning rule that gives rise to such correlations and yields both lognormal firing rates and synaptic efficacies. Our results represent a first step toward reconciling sparse activity and sparse connectivity in cortical networks.

PMID:
19321765
PMCID:
PMC2784918
DOI:
10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4500-08.2009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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