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Entropy 2013, 15(9), 3507-3527; doi:10.3390/e15093507

The Measurement of Information Transmitted by a Neural Population: Promises and Challenges

1 The Fishberg Department of Neuroscience and The Friedman Brain Institute, The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA 2 Laboratory of Biophysics, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 May 2013 / Revised: 19 August 2013 / Accepted: 27 August 2013 / Published: 3 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Estimating Information-Theoretic Quantities from Data)
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All brain functions require the coordinated activity of many neurons, and therefore there is considerable interest in estimating the amount of information that the discharge of a neural population transmits to its targets. In the past, such estimates had presented a significant challenge for populations of more than a few neurons, but we have recently described a novel method for providing such estimates for populations of essentially arbitrary size. Here, we explore the influence of some important aspects of the neuronal population discharge on such estimates. In particular, we investigate the roles of mean firing rate and of the degree and nature of correlations among neurons. The results provide constraints on the applicability of our new method and should help neuroscientists determine whether such an application is appropriate for their data.
Keywords: information; neural population; spike trains; dynamics information; neural population; spike trains; dynamics
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Crumiller, M.; Knight, B.; Kaplan, E. The Measurement of Information Transmitted by a Neural Population: Promises and Challenges. Entropy 2013, 15, 3507-3527.

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