Apr 7, 2020

The control of plastic inhibition over excitatory synaptic plasticity leads to the joint emergence of sensory coding and contrast invariance.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Rene LarischF. H. Hamker


Visual stimuli are represented by a highly efficient code in the primary visual cortex, but the development of this code is still unclear. Two distinct factors control coding efficiency: Representational efficiency, which is determined by neuronal tuning diversity, and metabolic efficiency, which is influenced by neuronal gain. How these determinants of coding efficiency are shaped during development, supported by excitatory and inhibitory plasticity, is only partially understood. We investigate a fully plastic spiking network of the primary visual cortex, building on phenomenological plasticity rules. Our results show that inhibitory plasticity is key to the emergence of tuning diversity and accurate input encoding. Additionally, inhibitory feedback increases the metabolic efficiency by implementing a gain control mechanism. Interestingly, this led to the spontaneous emergence of contrast-invariant tuning curves. Our findings highlight the role of interneuron plasticity during the development of receptive fields and in shaping sensory representations.

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