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In many cortical and subcortical areas, neurons are known to modulate their average firing rate in response to certain external stimulus features. It is widely believed that information about the stimulus features is coded by a weighted average of the neural responses. Recent theoretical studies have shown that the information capacity of such a coding(More)
It has been suggested that excitatory and inhibitory inputs to cortical cells are balanced, and that this balance is important for the highly irregular firing observed in the cortex. There are two hypotheses as to the origin of this balance. One assumes that it results from a stable solution of the recurrent neuronal dynamics. This model can account for a(More)
Sensory processing is associated with gamma frequency oscillations (30-80 Hz) in sensory cortices. This raises the question whether gamma oscillations can be directly involved in the representation of time-varying stimuli, including stimuli whose time scale is longer than a gamma cycle. We are interested in the ability of the system to reliably distinguish(More)
A central finding in many cortical areas is that single neurons can match behavioral performance in the discrimination of sensory stimuli. However, whether this is true for natural behaviors involving complex natural stimuli remains unknown. Here we use the model system of songbirds to address this problem. Specifically, we investigate whether neurons in(More)
Understanding how populations of neurons encode sensory information is a major goal of systems neuroscience. Attempts to answer this question have focused on responses measured over several hundred milliseconds, a duration much longer than that frequently used by animals to make decisions about the environment. How reliably sensory information is encoded on(More)
Population coding theory aims to provide quantitative tests for hypotheses concerning the neural code. Over the last two decades theory has focused on analyzing the ways in which various parameters that characterize neuronal responses to external stimuli affect the information content of these responses. This article reviews and provides an intuitive(More)