Monthly
288 pp. per issue
6 x 9, illustrated
ISSN
0899-7667
E-ISSN
1530-888X
2014 Impact factor:
2.21

Neural Computation

January 1, 2006, Vol. 18, No. 1, Pages 26-44
(doi: 10.1162/089976606774841530)
© 2005 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Optimal Synapse for Sparse, Binary Signals in the Rod Pathway
Article PDF (469.76 KB)
Abstract

The sparsity of photons at very low light levels necessitates a nonlinear synaptic transfer function between the rod photoreceptors and the rod-bipolar cells. We examine different ways to characterize the performance of the pathway: the error rate, two variants of the mutual information, and the signal-to-noise ratio. Simulation of the pathway shows that these approaches yield substantially different performance at very low light levels and that maximizing the signal-to-noise ratio yields the best performance when judged from simulated images. The results are compared to recent data.