Bayesian computation through cortical latent dynamics

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Hansem SohnMehrdad Jazayeri

Abstract

Statistical regularities in the environment create prior beliefs that we rely on to optimize our behavior when sensory information is uncertain. Bayesian theory formalizes how prior beliefs can be leveraged, and has had a major impact on models of perception, sensorimotor function, and cognition. However, it is not known how recurrent interactions among neurons mediate Bayesian integration. Using a time interval reproduction task in monkeys, we found that prior statistics warp the underlying structure of population activity in the frontal cortex allowing the mapping of sensory inputs to motor outputs to be biased in accordance with Bayesian inference. Analysis of neural network models performing the task revealed that this warping was mediated by a low-dimensional curved manifold, and allowed us to further probe the potential causal underpinnings of this computational strategy. These results uncover a simple and general principle whereby prior beliefs exert their influence on behavior by sculpting cortical latent dynamics.

Related Concepts

Cerebral Cortex
Cognition
Environment
Frontal Lobe
Monkeys
Neurons
Perception
Reproduction
Neural Network Simulation
Analysis

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