Neurons with stereotyped and rapid responses provide a reference frame for relative temporal coding in primate auditory cortex

Article English OPEN
Brasselet, R. ; Panzeri, S. ; Logothetis, N.K. ; Kayser, C. (2012)

The precise timing of spikes of cortical neurons relative to stimulus onset carries substantial sensory information. To access this information the sensory systems would need to maintain an internal temporal reference that reflects the precise stimulus timing. Whether and how sensory systems implement such reference frames to decode time-dependent responses, however, remains debated. Studying the encoding of naturalistic sounds in primate (Macaca mulatta) auditory cortex we here investigate potential intrinsic references for decoding temporally precise information. Within the population of recorded neurons, we found one subset responding with stereotyped fast latencies that varied little across trials or stimuli, while the remaining neurons had stimulus-modulated responses with longer and variable latencies. Computational analysis demonstrated that the neurons with stereotyped short latencies constitute an effective temporal reference for relative coding. Using the response onset of a simultaneously recorded stereotyped neuron allowed decoding most of the stimulus information carried by onset latencies and the full spike train of stimulus-modulated neurons. Computational modeling showed that few tens of such stereotyped reference neurons suffice to recover nearly all information that would be available when decoding the same responses relative to the actual stimulus onset. These findings reveal an explicit neural signature of an intrinsic reference for decoding temporal response patterns in the auditory cortex of alert animals. Furthermore, they highlight a role for apparently unselective neurons as an early saliency signal that provides a temporal reference for extracting stimulus information from other neurons.
  • References (59)
    59 references, page 1 of 6

    Abbott LF, Dayan P (1999) The effect of correlated variability on the accuracy of a population code. Neural Comput 11:91-101.

    Bair W, Koch C (1996) Temporal precision of spike trains in extrastriate cortex of the behaving macaque monkey. Neural Comput 8:1185-1202.

    Bizley JK, Walker KM, King AJ, Schnupp JW (2010) Neural ensemble codes for stimulus periodicity in auditory cortex. J Neurosci 30:5078 -5091.

    Chandrasekaran C, Turesson HK, Brown CH, Ghazanfar AA (2010) The influence of natural scene dynamics on auditory cortical activity. J Neurosci 30:13919 -13931.

    Chase SM, Young ED (2007) First-spike latency information in single neurons increases when referenced to population onset. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 104:5175-5180.

    Chechik G, Anderson MJ, Bar-Yosef O, Young ED, Tishby N, Nelken I (2006) Reduction of information redundancy in the ascending auditory pathway. Neuron 51:359 -368.

    deCharms RC, Zador A (2000) Neural representation and the cortical code. Annu Rev Neurosci 23:613- 647.

    Diamond ME, von Heimendahl M, Arabzadeh E (2008a) Whiskermediated texture discrimination. PLoS Biol 6:e220.

    Diamond ME, von Heimendahl M, Knutsen PM, Kleinfeld D, Ahissar E (2008b) 'Where' and 'what' in the whisker sensorimotor system. Nat Rev Neurosci 9:601- 612.

    Engineer CT, Perez CA, Chen YH, Carraway RS, Reed AC, Shetake JA, Jakkamsetti V, Chang KQ, Kilgard MP (2008) Cortical activity patterns predict speech discrimination ability. Nat Neurosci 11:603- 608.

  • Metrics
    No metrics available
Share - Bookmark