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Nonlinear Bayesian filtering and learning: a neuronal dynamics for perception


Kutschireiter, Anna; Surace, Simone Carlo; Sprekeler, Henning; Pfister, Jean-Pascal (2017). Nonlinear Bayesian filtering and learning: a neuronal dynamics for perception. Scientific Reports, 7:8722.

Abstract

The robust estimation of dynamical hidden features, such as the position of prey, based on sensory inputs is one of the hallmarks of perception. This dynamical estimation can be rigorously formulated by nonlinear Bayesian filtering theory. Recent experimental and behavioral studies have shown that animals’ performance in many tasks is consistent with such a Bayesian statistical interpretation. However, it is presently unclear how a nonlinear Bayesian filter can be efficiently implemented in a network of neurons that satisfies some minimum constraints of biological plausibility. Here, we propose the Neural Particle Filter (NPF), a sampling-based nonlinear Bayesian filter, which does not rely on importance weights. We show that this filter can be interpreted as the neuronal dynamics of a recurrently connected rate-based neural network receiving feed-forward input from sensory neurons. Further, it captures properties of temporal and multi-sensory integration that are crucial for perception, and it allows for online parameter learning with a maximum likelihood approach. The NPF holds the promise to avoid the ‘curse of dimensionality’, and we demonstrate numerically its capability to outperform weighted particle filters in higher dimensions and when the number of particles is limited.

Abstract

The robust estimation of dynamical hidden features, such as the position of prey, based on sensory inputs is one of the hallmarks of perception. This dynamical estimation can be rigorously formulated by nonlinear Bayesian filtering theory. Recent experimental and behavioral studies have shown that animals’ performance in many tasks is consistent with such a Bayesian statistical interpretation. However, it is presently unclear how a nonlinear Bayesian filter can be efficiently implemented in a network of neurons that satisfies some minimum constraints of biological plausibility. Here, we propose the Neural Particle Filter (NPF), a sampling-based nonlinear Bayesian filter, which does not rely on importance weights. We show that this filter can be interpreted as the neuronal dynamics of a recurrently connected rate-based neural network receiving feed-forward input from sensory neurons. Further, it captures properties of temporal and multi-sensory integration that are crucial for perception, and it allows for online parameter learning with a maximum likelihood approach. The NPF holds the promise to avoid the ‘curse of dimensionality’, and we demonstrate numerically its capability to outperform weighted particle filters in higher dimensions and when the number of particles is limited.

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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
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:01 Mar 2018 13:25
Last Modified:14 Mar 2018 18:00
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2045-2322
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-06519-y

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