The Structured `Low Temperature' Phase of the Retinal Population Code

Ioffe, Mark Lev; Berry II, Michael J.
Issue date: 2017
Cite as:
Ioffe, Mark Lev & Berry II, Michael J. (2017). The Structured `Low Temperature' Phase of the Retinal Population Code [Data set].
  author      = {Ioffe, Mark Lev and
                Berry II, Michael J.},
  title       = {{The Structured `Low Temperature' Phase o
                f the Retinal Population Code}},
  year        = 2017

Recent advances in experimental techniques have allowed the simultaneous recordings of populations of hundreds of neurons, fostering a debate about the nature of the collective structure of population neural activity. Much of this debate has focused on the empirical findings of a phase transition in the parameter space of maximum entropy models describing the measured neural probability distributions, interpreting this phase transition to indicate a critical tuning of the neural code. Here, we instead focus on the possibility that this is a first-order phase transition which provides evidence that the real neural population is in a `structured', collective state. We show that this collective state is robust to changes in stimulus ensemble and adaptive state. We find that the pattern of pairwise correlations between neurons has a strength that is well within the strongly correlated regime and does not require fine tuning, suggesting that this state is generic for populations of 100+ neurons. We find a clear correspondence between the emergence of a phase transition, and the emergence of attractor-like structure in the inferred energy landscape. A collective state in the neural population, in which neural activity patterns naturally form clusters, provides a consistent interpretation for our results.

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# Filename Description Filesize
1 170 MB
2 maxent_inference_code.tgz 34 KB