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Title: The Nature of Shared Cortical Variability
Authors: Lin, I-Chun
Okun, Michael
Carandini, Matteo
Harris, Kenneth D.
First Published: 23-Jul-2015
Publisher: Elsevier (Cell Press)
Citation: Neuron, 2015, 87 (3), pp. 644-656
Abstract: Neuronal responses of sensory cortex are highly variable, and this variability is correlated across neurons. To assess how variability reflects factors shared across a neuronal population, we analyzed the activity of many simultaneously recorded neurons in visual cortex. We developed a simple model that comprises two sources of shared variability: a multiplicative gain, which uniformly scales each neuron's sensory drive, and an additive offset, which affects different neurons to different degrees. This model captured the variability of spike counts and reproduced the dependence of pairwise correlations on neuronal tuning and stimulus orientation. The relative contributions of the additive and multiplicative fluctuations could vary over time and had marked impact on population coding. These observations indicate that shared variability of neuronal populations in sensory cortex can be largely explained by two factors that modulate the whole population.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.06.035
ISSN: 0896-6273
eISSN: 1097-4199
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2015. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

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