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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-32052

Rutishauser, U; Douglas, R J (2009). State dependent computation using coupled recurrent networks. Neural Computation, 21(2):478-509.

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Although conditional branching between possible behavioural states is a hallmark of intelligent behavior, very little is known about the neuronal mechanisms that support this processing. In a step toward solving this problem we demonstrate by theoretical analysis and simulation how networks of richly interconnected
neurons, such as those observed in the superficial layers of the neocortex, can embed reliable robust finite state machines. We show how a multi-stable neuronal network containing a number of states can be created very simply, by coupling two recurrent networks whose synaptic weights have been configured
for soft winner-take-all (sWTA) performance. These two sWTAs have simple, homogenous locally
recurrent connectivity except for a small fraction of recurrent cross-connections between them, which are used to embed the required states. This coupling between the maps allows the network to continue to express the current state even after the input that elicted that state is withdrawn. In addition, a small number of �transition neurons� implement the necessary input-driven transitions between the embedded states. We provide simple rules to systematically design and construct neuronal state machines of this kind. The significance of our finding is that it offers a method whereby the cortex could construct networks supporting a broad range of sophisticated processing by applying only small specializations to the same generic neuronal circuit.


33 citations in Web of Science®
35 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Neuroinformatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Uncontrolled Keywords:WTA
Date:February 2009
Deposited On:28 Feb 2010 10:25
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:00
Publisher:MIT Press
Additional Information:Copyright: MIT Press
Publisher DOI:10.1162/neco.2008.03-08-734
Related URLs:http://www.ini.uzh.ch/node/13570 (Organisation)
PubMed ID:18785859

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