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Trends Neurosci. 2010 Mar;33(3):111-20. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2009.12.001. Epub 2010 Jan 4.

Sensory neural codes using multiplexed temporal scales.

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Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department, Italian Institute of Technology, Via Morego 30, 16163 Genova, Italy.


Determining how neuronal activity represents sensory information is central for understanding perception. Recent work shows that neural responses at different timescales can encode different stimulus attributes, resulting in a temporal multiplexing of sensory information. Multiplexing increases the encoding capacity of neural responses, enables disambiguation of stimuli that cannot be discriminated at a single response timescale, and makes sensory representations stable to the presence of variability in the sensory world. Thus, as we discuss here, temporal multiplexing could be a key strategy used by the brain to form an information-rich and stable representation of the environment.

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