Online optimisation of information transmission in stochastic spiking neural systems
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Chondrorizos, Alexandros Kourkoulas
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An Information Theoretic approach is used for studying the effect of noise on various spiking neural systems. Detailed statistical analyses of neural behaviour under the influence of stochasticity are carried out and their results related to other work and also biological neural networks. The neurocomputational capabilities of the neural systems under study are put on an absolute scale. This approach was also used in order to develop an optimisation framework. A proof-of-concept algorithm is designed, based on information theory and the coding fraction, which optimises noise through maximising information throughput. The algorithm is applied with success to a single neuron and then generalised to an entire neural population with various structural characteristics (feedforward, lateral, recurrent connections). It is shown that there are certain positive and persistent phenomena due to noise in spiking neural networks and that these phenomena can be observed even under simplified conditions and therefore exploited. The transition is made from detailed and computationally expensive tools to efficient approximations. These phenomena are shown to be persistent and exploitable under a variety of circumstances. The results of this work provide evidence that noise can be optimised online in both single neurons and neural populations of varying structures.