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The role of sub-population structure in neural computations

From 6/20/2022 to 6/20/2022
Hybrid: NeuroSpin Amphitheater and webinar

Srdjan Ostojic, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, has given a talk on Zoom on June 20th.

Short abstract:

Neural computations are currently conceptualised using two separate approaches: sorting neurons into functional sub-populations or examining distributed collective dynamics. Whether and how these two aspects interact to shape computations is currently unclear. Using a novel approach to extract computational mechanisms from recurrent networks trained on neuroscience tasks, we show that the collective dynamics and sub-population structure play fundamentally complementary roles. Although various tasks can be implemented in networks with fully random population structure, we found that flexible input–output mappings instead require a non-random population structure that can be described in terms of multiple sub-populations. Our analyses revealed that such a sub-population organisation enables flexible computations through a mechanism based on gain-controlled modulations that flexibly shape the collective dynamics.

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