Microsaccades and synchrony coding in the retina (Masquelier et al. 2016)

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We show that microsaccades (MS) enable efficient synchrony-based coding among the primate retinal ganglion cells (RGC). We find that each MS causes certain RGCs to fire synchronously, namely those whose receptive fields contain contrast edges after the MS. The emitted synchronous spike volley thus rapidly transmits the most salient edges of the stimulus. We demonstrate that the readout could be done rapidly by simple coincidence-detector neurons, and that the required connectivity could emerge spontaneously with spike timing-dependent plasticity.
1 . Masquelier T, Portelli G, Kornprobst P (2016) Microsaccades enable efficient synchrony-based coding in the retina: a simulation study. Sci Rep 6:24086 [PubMed]
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Model Information (Click on a link to find other models with that property)
Model Type: Connectionist Network;
Brain Region(s)/Organism:
Cell Type(s): Retina ganglion GLU cell;
Gap Junctions:
Simulation Environment: C or C++ program; MATLAB;
Model Concept(s): Pattern Recognition; Coincidence Detection; Synchronization; Spatio-temporal Activity Patterns; STDP; Information transfer; Sensory processing; Sensory coding;
Implementer(s): Masquelier, Tim [timothee.masquelier at alum.mit.edu];
Search NeuronDB for information about:  Retina ganglion GLU cell;
# Jan 2015
# timothee.masquelier@alum.mit.edu
# This code was used in: Masquelier T, Portelli G and Kornprobst P (2016). Microsaccades enable efficient synchrony-based coding in the retina: a simulation study. Scientific Reports. 
# This is a Python script to launch several threads of Virtual Retina. This is useful if multiple cores are available.
# For example batch_vr.py -i 0 -f 8 -s 1 will launch 8 threads, each thread processing the frames in ../data/frame/file_name_# and saving the spikes in ../data/fr#

import subprocess
from numpy import *
import sys
import getopt

    opts, args = getopt.getopt(sys.argv[1:], 'i:f:s:', ['initial=', 'final=','step='])
except getopt.GetoptError, err:
    # print help information and exit:
    print str(err) # will print something like "option -a not recognized"
#    usage()
#opts, extraparams = getopt.getopt(sys.argv[1:],'r:w:',['randomSeed='])
# starts at the second element of argv since the first one is the script name
# extraparms are extra arguments passed after all option/keywords are assigned
# opts is a list containing the pair "option"/"value"
for o,p in opts:
  if o in ['-i','--initial']:
     initial = double(p)
  elif o in ['-f','--final']:
     final = double(p)
  elif o in ['-s','--step']:
     step = double(p)

import multiprocessing
import subprocess

def calculate(alpha):

    subprocess.call('mkdir ../data/fr_' + '%01d' % alpha , shell=True)

    subprocess.call('~/retina_package-2.2.2/VirtualRetina-2.2.2/bin/Retina -i ../img/frame/file_name_' + '%01d' % alpha + '.txt  -ret ./human.parvo.xml -r 5 -outD ../data/fr_' + '%01d' % alpha + '/ -nodisp',shell=True)

    #speed = 16
    #str = 'VirtualRetina-2.2.2/bin/Retina VirtualRetina-2.2.2/test/stim/sliding_edge/*.pgm  -bf ' + '%d'%(256-256/speed) + ' -ef ' +'%d'%(256+256/speed)+ ' -ret VirtualRetina-2.2.2/test/retina_files/human.parvo.1cell.xml -r ' +'%d'%speed+  ' -outD VirtualRetina-2.2.2/tmp/fr_' + '%01d' % alpha + '/ -nodisp';
    #str = 'VirtualRetina-2.2.2/bin/Retina VirtualRetina-2.2.2/test/stim/sliding_edge_infinite_speed/*.pgm -ret VirtualRetina-2.2.2/test/retina_files/human.parvo.1cell.xml -r 256 -outD VirtualRetina-2.2.2/tmp/fr_' + '%01d' % alpha + '/ -nodisp';
    #str = 'VirtualRetina-2.2.2/bin/Retina VirtualRetina-2.2.2/test/stim/flashes/*.bmp -ret VirtualRetina-2.2.2/test/retina_files/human.parvo.xml -r 256 -outD VirtualRetina-2.2.2/tmp/fr_' + '%01d' % alpha + '/ -nodisp';
    #print str
    #if alpha==0:
    #    str = str + ' -saveCP'

if __name__ == '__main__':
    pool = multiprocessing.Pool(None)
    tasks = arange(initial,final,step)
    results = []
    r = pool.map_async(calculate, tasks, callback=results.append)
    r.wait() # Wait on the results
    print results