A model of neocortex

Prompted by considerations about (i) the compositionality of cognitive functions, (ii) the physiology of individual cortical neurons, (iii) the role of accurately timed spike patterns in cortex, and (iv) the regulation of global cortical activity, we suggest that the dynamics of cortex on the 1-ms time scale may be described as the activation of circuits of the synfire-chain type (Abeles 1982, 1991). We suggest that the fundamental computational unit in cortex may be a wave-like spatio-temporal pattern of synfire type, and that the binding mechanism underlying compositionality in cognition may be the accurate synchronization of synfire waves that propagate simultaneously on distinct, weakly coupled, synfire chains. We propose that Hebbian synaptic plasticity may result in a superposition of synfire chains in cortical connectivity, whereby a given neuron participates in many distinct chains. We investigate the behaviour of a much-simplified model of cortical dynamics devised along these principles. Calcula...

[1]  R. Glauber Time‐Dependent Statistics of the Ising Model , 1963 .

[2]  W. Little The existence of persistent states in the brain , 1974 .

[3]  J. Changeux,et al.  Selective stabilisation of developing synapses as a mechanism for the specification of neuronal networks , 1976, Nature.

[4]  Professor Dr. Valentino Braitenberg,et al.  On the Texture of Brains , 1977, Heidelberg Science Library.

[5]  B D Burns,et al.  The correlation between discharge times of neighbouring neurons in isolated cerebral cortex , 1979, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B. Biological Sciences.

[6]  Professor Moshe Abeles,et al.  Local Cortical Circuits , 1982, Studies of Brain Function.

[7]  J J Hopfield,et al.  Neural networks and physical systems with emergent collective computational abilities. , 1982, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

[8]  M. Abeles Local Cortical Circuits: An Electrophysiological Study , 1982 .

[9]  C. Malsburg,et al.  Statistical Coding and Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity: A Scheme for Knowledge Representation in the Brain , 1986 .

[10]  Gerard Toulouse,et al.  Theory of the frustration effect in spin glasses: I , 1986 .

[11]  Elie Bienenstock,et al.  A neural network for invariant pattern recognition. , 1987 .

[12]  G L Gerstein,et al.  Detecting spatiotemporal firing patterns among simultaneously recorded single neurons. , 1988, Journal of neurophysiology.

[13]  D. O. Hebb,et al.  The organization of behavior , 1988 .

[14]  Y. Miyashita,et al.  Neuronal correlate of pictorial short-term memory in the primate temporal cortexYasushi Miyashita , 1988, Nature.

[15]  Sommers,et al.  Chaos in random neural networks. , 1988, Physical review letters.

[16]  A. Damasio Time-locked multiregional retroactivation: A systems-level proposal for the neural substrates of recall and recognition , 1989, Cognition.

[17]  W. Singer,et al.  Oscillatory responses in cat visual cortex exhibit inter-columnar synchronization which reflects global stimulus properties , 1989, Nature.

[18]  M. Sereno Four analogies between biological and cultural/linguistic evolution. , 1991, Journal of theoretical biology.

[19]  D. Amit,et al.  Quantitative study of attractor neural networks retrieving at low spike rates: II. Low-rate retrieval in symmetric networks , 1991 .

[20]  René Doursat,et al.  Contribution a l'etude des representtions dans le systeme nerveux et dans les reseaux de neurones formels , 1991 .

[21]  Daniel J. Amit,et al.  Quantitative Study of Attractor Neural Network Retrieving at Low Spike Rates: I , 1991 .

[22]  Christof Koch,et al.  Cortical Cells Should Fire Regularly, But Do Not , 1999, Neural Computation.

[23]  L. Shastri,et al.  From simple associations to systematic reasoning: A connectionist representation of rules, variables and dynamic bindings using temporal synchrony , 1993, Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

[24]  E. Vaadia,et al.  Spatiotemporal firing patterns in the frontal cortex of behaving monkeys. , 1993, Journal of neurophysiology.

[25]  Christoph von der Malsburg,et al.  The Correlation Theory of Brain Function , 1994 .