Computational optimum of recurrent neural circuits at intermediate numbers of nonlinear dendritic branches
BMC Neuroscience volume 14, Article number: P273 (2013)
How neurons process their inputs crucially determines the dynamics of biological and artificial neural networks. Synaptic input is typically considered to be merely transmitted linearly or sublinearly by the dendritic compartments. Yet, single-neuron experiments report pronounced supralinear dendritic summation of sufficiently synchronous and spatially close-by inputs. Here, we study its influence on single neuron responses and the performance of associative memory networks. First, we compute the effect of random input to a neuron incorporating nonlinear dendrites. This approach is independent of the details of the neuronal dynamics. Second, we use those results to study the impact of dendritic nonlinearities on the network dynamics in a Hopfield-type associative memory model, both numerically and analytically. We find that dendritic nonlinearities maintain network convergence and increase the robustness of memory performance against noise (Figure 1A). Interestingly, an intermediate number of dendritic branches is optimal for memory functionality (Figure 1B,C).
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Breuer, D., Timme, M. & Memmesheimer, RM. Computational optimum of recurrent neural circuits at intermediate numbers of nonlinear dendritic branches. BMC Neurosci 14 (Suppl 1), P273 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2202-14-S1-P273