Monthly
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6 x 9, illustrated
ISSN
0899-7667
E-ISSN
1530-888X
2014 Impact factor:
2.21

Neural Computation

January 1994, Vol. 6, No. 1, Pages 29-37
(doi: 10.1162/neco.1994.6.1.29)
© 1994 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Theoretical Considerations for the Analysis of Population Coding in Motor Cortex
Article PDF (455.59 KB)
Abstract

Recent evidence of population coding in motor cortex has led some researchers to claim that certain variables such as hand direction or force may be coded within a Cartesian coordinate system with respect to extra personal space. These claims are based on the ability to predict the rectangular coordinates of hand movement direction using a “population vector” computed from multiple cells' firing rates. I show here that such a population vector can always be found given a very general set of assumptions. Therefore the existence of a population vector constitutes only weak support for the explicit use of a particular coordinate representation by motor cortex.