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]
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];
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function filter = DoG(sz,sigma1,sigma2)
x = repmat([1:sz],sz,1);
y = x';
d2 = (x-sz/2-.5).^2 + (y-sz/2-.5).^2;

filter = 1/sqrt(2*pi) * ( 1/sigma1 * exp(-d2/2/(sigma1^2)) - 1/sigma2 * exp(-d2/2/(sigma2^2)) );

% sum of weight must be 0
filter = filter - mean(filter(:));
filter = filter / norm(filter(:));

% % tmp
% figure
% subplot(1,2,1)
% mesh(filter);
% subplot(1,2,2)
% plot(filter(round(sz/2+.5),:));
% pause

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