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  Associating spontaneous with evoked activity in a neural mass model of visual cortex

Nguyen Trong, M., Bojak, I., & Knösche, T. R. (2013). Associating spontaneous with evoked activity in a neural mass model of visual cortex. NeuroImage, 66, 80-87. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.10.024.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-1108-E Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-8CB9-F
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Nguyen Trong, Manh1, 2, Author              
Bojak, Ingo3, 4, Author
Knösche, Thomas R.1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Methods and Development Unit Cortical Networks and Cognitive Functions, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634557              
2Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Informatics, TU Ilmenau, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              
4Centre for Neuroscience, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Neural Mass Model; Stable Heteroclinic Channel; Hebbian Learning; Spontaneous activity
 Abstract: Spontaneous activity of the brain at rest frequently has been considered a mere backdrop to the salient activity evoked by external stimuli or tasks. However, the resting state of the brain consumes most of its energy budget, which suggests a far more important role. An intriguing hint comes from experimental observations of spontaneous activity patterns, which closely resemble those evoked by visual stimulation with oriented gratings, except that cortex appeared to cycle between different orientation maps. Moreover, patterns similar to those evoked by the behaviorally most relevant horizontal and vertical orientations occurred more often than those corresponding to oblique angles. We hypothesize that this kind of spontaneous activity develops at least to some degree autonomously, providing a dynamical reservoir of cortical states, which are then associated with visual stimuli through learning. To test this hypothesis, we use a biologically inspired neural mass model to simulate a patch of cat visual cortex. Spontaneous transitions between orientation states were induced by modest modifications of the neural connectivity, establishing a stable heteroclinic channel. Significantly, the experimentally observed greater frequency of states representing the behaviorally important horizontal and vertical orientations emerged spontaneously from these simulations. We then applied bar-shaped inputs to the model cortex and used Hebbian learning rules to modify the corresponding synaptic strengths. After unsupervised learning, different bar inputs reliably and exclusively evoked their associated orientation state; whereas in the absence of input, the model cortex resumed its spontaneous cycling. We conclude that the experimentally observed similarities between spontaneous and evoked activity in visual cortex can be explained as the outcome of a learning process that associates external stimuli with a preexisting reservoir of autonomous neural activity states. Our findings hence demonstrate how cortical connectivity can link the maintenance of spontaneous activity in the brain mechanistically to its core cognitive functions.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2012-10-152012-10-222013-02-01
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.10.024
PMID: 23085110
Other: Epub 2012
 Degree: -

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Title: NeuroImage
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Orlando, FL : Academic Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 66 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 80 - 87 Identifier: ISSN: 1053-8119
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922650166