Bridging structure and function: A model of sequence learning and prediction in primary visual cortex

PLoS Computational Biology
Christian KlosJochen Triesch

Abstract

Recent experiments have demonstrated that visual cortex engages in spatio-temporal sequence learning and prediction. The cellular basis of this learning remains unclear, however. Here we present a spiking neural network model that explains a recent study on sequence learning in the primary visual cortex of rats. The model posits that the sequence learning and prediction abilities of cortical circuits result from the interaction of spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) and homeostatic plasticity mechanisms. It also reproduces changes in stimulus-evoked multi-unit activity during learning. Furthermore, it makes precise predictions regarding how training shapes network connectivity to establish its prediction ability. Finally, it predicts that the adapted connectivity gives rise to systematic changes in spontaneous network activity. Taken together, our model establishes a new conceptual bridge between the structure and function of cortical circuits in the context of sequence learning and prediction.

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