Lateral competition in cortex

Can local inhibition lead to long-range competition?

20th February, 2014

Figure 1: Presence of competition in a local-inhibition network

Figure 1: Presence of competition in a local-inhibition network

In this simulated cortical network, competition between a driven column (arrowhead) and other columns is only strongly present where the inhibitory connections between the two points is stronger than the excitatory connections.

Competition is a well-studied and powerful mechanism for information processing in neuronal networks. However, many models for columnar cortex (cats and monkeys, for example) rely on long-range inhibitory interactions, which seem not to be present in the cortex. We explored whether competition can occur over long distances, with realistic cortical anatomy.

The brain's social network

Nerve cells interact like friends on Facebook

4th February, 2015

Neurons in the brain are wired like a social network, report researchers from Biozentrum, University of Basel. Each nerve cell has links with many others, but the strongest bonds form between the few cells most similar to each other.

FocusStack and StimServer

New, open-source toolboxes for visual stimulation and analysis of two-photon imaging data

1st December, 2014
Multiple-trial GCAMP6m calcium responses to a natural movie stimulus.

Two-photon calcium imaging of neuronal responses is an increasingly accessible technology for probing population responses in cortex at single cell resolution, and with reasonable and improving temporal resolution. However, analysis of two-photon data is usually performed using ad-hoc solutions. To date, no publicly available software exists for straightforward analysis of stimulus-triggered two-photon imaging experiments, while incorporating information about stimulus triggers. In addition, the increasing data rates of two-photon acquisition systems imply increasing cost of computing hardware required for in-memory analysis.