DOI: 1212.0031May 16, 2013Paper

Encoding binary neural codes in networks of threshold-linear neurons

ArXiv
Carina CurtoVladimir Itskov

Abstract

Networks of neurons in the brain encode preferred patterns of neural activity via their synaptic connections. Despite receiving considerable attention, the precise relationship between network connectivity and encoded patterns is still poorly understood. Here we consider this problem for networks of threshold-linear neurons whose computational function is to learn and store a set of binary patterns (e.g., a neural code) as "permitted sets" of the network. We introduce a simple Encoding Rule that selectively turns "on" synapses between neurons that co-appear in one or more patterns. The rule uses synapses that are binary, in the sense of having only two states ("on" or "off"), but also heterogeneous, with weights drawn from an underlying synaptic strength matrix S. Our main results precisely describe the stored patterns that result from the Encoding Rule -- including unintended "spurious" states -- and give an explicit characterization of the dependence on S. In particular, we find that binary patterns are successfully stored in these networks when the excitatory connections between neurons are geometrically balanced -- i.e., they satisfy a set of geometric constraints. Furthermore, we find that certain types of neural codes a...Continue Reading

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