Chapter 20

Information Theory

Pascal Wallisch

We used the assumption that a neuron encodes any relevant stimulus parameters by modifying its firing rate to construct tuning curves describing this stimulus encoding. But a neuron could also encode a stimulus by changing the relative timing of its spikes. In this chapter we will introduce the methodology used in a series of papers by Richmond and Optican exploring temporal encoding in a primate visual area. They used principal components analysis and information theory to argue that a temporal code provided more information about the stimulus than a rate code did. You will apply similar methodology to data recorded from the primate motor cortex. Note that this chapter assumes familiarity with principal ...

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