Temporally complex stimuli are encoded into spatiotemporal spike sequences of neurons in many sensory areas. Here, we describe how downstream neurons with dendritic bistable plateau potentials can be connected to decode such spike sequences. Driven by feedforward inputs from the sensory neurons and controlled by feedforward inhibition and lateral excitation, the neurons transit between UP and DOWN states of the membrane potentials. The neurons spike only in the UP states. A decoding neuron spikes at the end of an input to signal the recognition of specific spike sequences. The transition dynamics is equivalent to that of a finite state automaton. A connection rule for the networks guarantees that any finite state automaton can be mapped into the transition dynamics, demonstrating the equivalence in computational power between the networks and finite state automata. The decoding mechanism is capable of recognizing an arbitrary number of spatiotemporal spike sequences, and is insensitive to the variations of the spike timings in the sequences.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)