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Neural Computation

January 1, 1999, Vol. 11, No. 1, Pages 21-66
(doi: 10.1162/089976699300016782)
© 1999 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Computing with Self-Excitatory Cliques: A Model and an Application to Hyperacuity-Scale Computation in Visual Cortex
Article PDF (369.57 KB)

We present a model of visual computation based on tightly inter-connected cliques of pyramidal cells. It leads to a formal theory of cell assemblies, a specific relationship between correlated firing patterns and abstract functionality, and a direct calculation relating estimates of cortical cell counts to orientation hyperacuity. Our network architecture is unique in that (1) it supports a mode of computation that is both reliable and efficent; (2) the current-spike relations are modeled as an analog dynamical system in which the requisite computations can take place on the time scale required for an early stage of visual processing; and (3) the dynamics are triggered by the spatiotemporal response of cortical cells. This final point could explain why moving stimuli improve vernier sensitivity.