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dc.contributor.advisorKnott, Alistair
dc.contributor.advisorBenuskova, Lubica
dc.contributor.authorGuise, Mira
dc.date.available2015-06-22T01:39:04Z
dc.date.copyright2015
dc.identifier.citationGuise, M. (2015). An examination of polychronous neural groups as a potential substrate for representation (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/5727en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10523/5727
dc.description.abstractIt is widely assumed that synaptic plasticity provides the neural basis for long-term memory in the brain (Abraham, 2008, Caporale and Dan, 2008, Martin et al., 2000). However, the precise nature of the underlying representation is still unclear, despite being of great relevance to brain research (Caroni et al., 2012). Izhikevich (2006a) has proposed that Polychronous Neural Groups (PNGs) might provide this representational mechanism. Importantly, this proposal links a high-level concept of representation to a model that is expressed at the level of spiking neurons and an empirically observed learning rule called Spike-timing-dependent Plasticity (STDP). Polychronous groups are connected groups of neurons that exist in large numbers in brain-like network simulations, and are often related to the Hebbian idea of neuronal assemblies (Hebb, 1949). The neurons in a polychronous group can be fired together in a process called PNG activation. However, the activation of polychronous groups is not synchronous but polychronous (i.e. many-timed), occurring at slightly different times as a wave-like sequential pattern of firing that passes through the group. Izhikevich views such activation events as corresponding to the activation of specific memory representations. A system of representation that is based on the activation of polychronous groups is an interesting idea that has not been adequately investigated. I therefore examine this idea in a series of experiments and theoretical discussions. The investigation of this claim has also motivated the development of two new tools. The first is a software tool called Spinula that is the foundation of all simulation experiments in this thesis. The second is a new probabilistic method for the study of PNG activation called Response Fingerprinting (Guise et al., 2013c, 2014). Using these tools I show that PNGs can meet a number of demanding criteria that I deem as necessary for a robust PNG-based representational system.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectmemory
dc.subjectrepresentation
dc.subjectpolychronous neural group
dc.subjectpolychronicity
dc.subjectspiking network
dc.subjectIzhikevich neuron
dc.subjectneural network
dc.subjectneural simulation
dc.subjectspike-timing-dependent plasticity
dc.subjectSTDP
dc.subjectneural basis of memory
dc.subjectneuronal assembly
dc.subjectResponse Fingerprinting
dc.subjectSpinula
dc.titleAn examination of polychronous neural groups as a potential substrate for representation
dc.typeThesis
dc.date.updated2015-06-19T03:36:53Z
dc.language.rfc3066en
thesis.degree.disciplineComputer Science
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Otago
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
otago.openaccessOpen
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