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Slowness: an objective for spike-timing-dependent plasticity?

Sprekeler, H and Michaelis, C and Wiskott, L (2007) Slowness: an objective for spike-timing-dependent plasticity? PLoS Comput Biol, 3. e112-.

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Abstract

Our nervous system can efficiently recognize objects in spite of changes in contextual variables such as perspective or lighting conditions. Several lines of research have proposed that this ability for invariant recognition is learned by exploiting the fact that object identities typically vary more slowly in time than contextual variables or noise. Here, we study the question of how this "temporal stability" or "slowness" approach can be implemented within the limits of biologically realistic spike-based learning rules. We first show that slow feature analysis, an algorithm that is based on slowness, can be implemented in linear continuous model neurons by means of a modified Hebbian learning rule. This approach provides a link to the trace rule, which is another implementation of slowness learning. Then, we show analytically that for linear Poisson neurons, slowness learning can be implemented by spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) with a specific learning window. By studying the learning dynamics of STDP, we show that for functional interpretations of STDP, it is not the learning window alone that is relevant but rather the convolution of the learning window with the postsynaptic potential. We then derive STDP learning windows that implement slow feature analysis and the "trace rule." The resulting learning windows are compatible with physiological data both in shape and timescale. Moreover, our analysis shows that the learning window can be split into two functionally different components that are sensitive to reversible and irreversible aspects of the input statistics, respectively. The theory indicates that irreversible input statistics are not in favor of stable weight distributions but may generate oscillatory weight dynamics. Our analysis offers a novel interpretation for the functional role of STDP in physiological neurons.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Action Potentials Computer Simulation Models, Neurological Nerve Net Neuronal Plasticity Neurons Reaction Time Synaptic Transmission
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Divisions: Div F > Computational and Biological Learning
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2014 11:28
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2014 01:09
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.0030112

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