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1530-888X
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Neural Computation

September 2013, Vol. 25, No. 9, Pages 2265-2302
(doi: 10.1162/NECO_a_00476)
© 2013 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Information Transfer Through Stochastic Transmission of a Linear Combination of Rates
Article PDF (1.06 MB)
Abstract

In this work, the Shannon information transfer rate due to the transmission of a linear combination of the firing rates of a number of afferent neurons is examined. The transmission of this linear combination (transfer statistic) takes place through a stochastic firing process, while a rate code is assumed. Constraints are imposed on the transmission process by the requirement that the coefficient of variation for the transfer statistic is small and by the relative variance of the individual terms in the calculation of the statistic. In the regime of no noise or signal correlations among the input neurons, simulations suggest that information transfer for fixed overall input is favored when there are few high-firing neurons, as opposed to more lower-firing neurons. Signal correlations among low-firing neurons can result in aggregates of high firing rates, improving in this way information transfer and calculational robustness. Under reasonable rate code assumptions, information transfer rates obtained are of the order 3 to 10 bit/sec.