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Sparse coding predicts optic flow specificities of zebrafish pretectal neurons

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Mallot, H., Ecke, G., Mikulasch, F., Bruijns, S., Witschel, T., & Arrenberg, A. (2019). Sparse coding predicts optic flow specificities of zebrafish pretectal neurons. Poster presented at 13th Göttingen Meeting of the German Neuroscience Society, 37th Göttingen Neurobiology Conference, Göttingen, Germany.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-B6ED-4
Zebrafish pretectal neurons exhibit specificities for large-field optic flow patterns associated with rotatory or translatory body motion. We investigate the hypothesis that these specificities reflect the input statistics of natural optic flow. Realistic motion sequences were generated using computer graphics simulating self-motion in an underwater scene. Local retinal motion was estimated with a motion detector and encoded in four populations of directionally tuned retinal ganglion cells, represented as two signed input variables. This activity was then used as input into one of two learning networks: a sparse coding network (competitive learning) and backpropagation network (supervised learning). Both simulations develop specificities for optic flow which are comparable to those found in a neurophysiological study (Kubo, F. et al., 2014, Neuron 81:1344-59), and relative frequencies of the various neuronal responses are best modeled by the sparse coding approach. We conclude that the optic flow neurons in the zebrafish pretectum do reflect the optic flow statistics. The predicted vectorial receptive fields show typical optic flow fields but also “Gabor" and dipole-shaped patterns that likely reflect difference-fields needed for reconstruction by linear superposition. For a full version of this paper, see https://arxiv.org/abs/1805.01277.