Multiplexed coding through synchronous and asynchronous spiking
© Lankarany and Prescott 2015
Published: 18 December 2015
The prodigious capacity of our brain to process information relies on efficient neural coding strategies. In engineered systems, bandwidth is often increased through multiplexing - multiple signals are simultaneously, yet independently, transmitted through a single communication channel. We have proposed previously that neural systems might implement the same sort of solution . Here, we tested if/how multiplexed coding could be achieved through combined rate and temporal coding. We hypothesized that a set of neurons could independently encode two signals by using asynchronous spike rate to encode one signal and synchronous spike timing to encode the other.
Our results demonstrate the feasibility of multiplexed coding using synchronous and asynchronous spiking. Decoding the two signals requires that spikes are distinguished by their cross-correlation; this is difficult to do with experimental data in which only a subset of neurons are recorded, but it is straightforward for the brain using downstream neurons that operate as coincidence detectors or integrators that respond preferentially depending on input correlation.
This work was supported by the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
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