Roles of integration and stimulus history in the representation of sound by the auditory cortex of ferrets. Public Deposited
Our senses are continuously bombarded by an avalanche of stimuli. The sensory epithelia, and the downstream regions of the brain a few synapses away from them, have the task of finding and representing the parts of this sensorium which are relevant for behavior and survival. This is a difficult task as the raw input of sensory systems, i.e., the activity of the sensory neurons (rod and cones in vision, hair cells in hearing) is very high dimensional where each sensory neuron corresponds to one dimension. Furthermore, the activity of neighboring sensory neurons is highly correlated and therefore carries redundant information, and there are temporal correlations as sensory experience tends to change smoothly over time. The sensory brain maps this high dimensional highly correlated raw sensory input to a lower-dimensional, less redundant representation (Chechik et al., 2006) by projecting the information onto the activity of fewer and less correlated neurons.