neural coding of behavior: evidence for precise timing of spikes ?

Ron Blue rcb1 at LEX.LCCC.EDU
Mon Dec 11 08:58:59 EST 1995

On Sat, 9 Dec 1995, Mark Laubach wrote:
> kevin at (Kevin Hellman) wrote:
> >It would appear neurons are more precise than we think... The order
> > of magnitude
> >of precision according to Mainen and Sejnowski also appears to
> >increase in reliability
> >with the injection of a random noise current(?)  
> I agree.  Neurons in a dish can be made reliable and this means that
> neurons in general are clearly capable of such reliable transmission.
> However, in a whole brain during behavior, this reliability is the
> issue.  Where is the evidence?
> There are many variables that vary with performance of a task.
> Richmond's group showed evidence at the neuro meeting that neurons in
> _V1_ vary from trial to trial as a function of behavioral conditions
> on previous trials.  Even under highly controlled experimental
> conditions, chair-seated monkeys performing a well-learned task with
> eye coils etc., one still finds an enormous complexity in neural
> activity with variations from trial to trial.  I feel that this
> variation is the thing we need to explain, not stuff found in dishes
> with electrical stimulation.
Assume for that your brain is like a radio.  If you remain on the
same station learning would be restrained.  If you change frequency 
channels learning would be enchanced.  If you remember which channel
you were one when you learned something new you could store the information
under that reference frequency and modulation timing.

Therefore, to function effectively you would need variation, and precise
timing.  Ron Blue

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