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Neural Comput. 2009 Apr;21(4):1038-67. doi: 10.1162/neco.2008.03-08-727.

Recurrent infomax generates cell assemblies, neuronal avalanches, and simple cell-like selectivity.

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Department of Morphological Brain Science, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.


Recently multineuronal recording has allowed us to observe patterned firings, synchronization, oscillation, and global state transitions in the recurrent networks of central nervous systems. We propose a learning algorithm based on the process of information maximization in a recurrent network, which we call recurrent infomax (RI). RI maximizes information retention and thereby minimizes information loss through time in a network. We find that feeding in external inputs consisting of information obtained from photographs of natural scenes into an RI-based model of a recurrent network results in the appearance of Gabor-like selectivity quite similar to that existing in simple cells of the primary visual cortex. We find that without external input, this network exhibits cell assembly-like and synfire chain-like spontaneous activity as well as a critical neuronal avalanche. In addition, we find that RI embeds externally input temporal firing patterns to the network so that it spontaneously reproduces these patterns after learning. RI provides a simple framework to explain a wide range of phenomena observed in in vivo and in vitro neuronal networks, and it will provide a novel understanding of experimental results for multineuronal activity and plasticity from an information-theoretic point of view.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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