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

Jan Vorbrueggen jan at
Mon Dec 18 06:55:22 EST 1995

In article <4ac9ut$22v at> laubach at (Mark
Laubach) writes:

   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?

In an electric eel, a frequecy selection cell changed behavious (selected a
different frequency of the side organ) dependent on a one microsecond timing
difference of two afferent cells. Somehow, the network is able to extract that
information...Binaural cells are also an example.

   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.

So the challenge is to extract the information that is relevant to the cells
you're measuring, not the changes caused by the general environment which is


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