288 pp. per issue
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Neural Computation

May 2022, Vol. 34, No. 5, Pages 1100-1135
(doi: 10.1162/neco_a_01491)
© 2022 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Direct Discriminative Decoder Models for Analysis of High-Dimensional Dynamical Neural Data
Article PDF (8.26 MB)

With the accelerated development of neural recording technology over the past few decades, research in integrative neuroscience has become increasingly reliant on data analysis methods that are scalable to high-dimensional recordings and computationally tractable. Latent process models have shown promising results in estimating the dynamics of cognitive processes using individual models for each neuron's receptive field. However, scaling these models to work on high-dimensional neural recordings remains challenging. Not only is it impractical to build receptive field models for individual neurons of a large neural population, but most neural data analyses based on individual receptive field models discard the local history of neural activity, which has been shown to be critical in the accurate inference of the underlying cognitive processes. Here, we propose a novel, scalable latent process model that can directly estimate cognitive process dynamics without requiring precise receptive field models of individual neurons or brain nodes. We call this the direct discriminative decoder (DDD) model. The DDD model consists of (1) a discriminative process that characterizes the conditional distribution of the signal to be estimated, or state, as a function of both the current neural activity and its local history, and (2) a state transition model that characterizes the evolution of the state over a longer time period.