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How the brain decodes itself ...

posted Nov 1, 2013, 12:17 PM by Michael Breakspear
There is a rapidly emerging interest in the mechanisms by which the brain generates spontaneous and task-related patterns of activity. However, there is very little known about how the brain "reads out" the information encoded in these patterns of activity for perception and action. Here we argue that the spatial morphology of dendritic "fields" (the spatial distribution of excitatory and inhibitory synapses across dendritic arbors) is a spatial filter, tuned to particular waves of activity. In this way, populations of neurons in deep layers of cortex can "read out" distributed patterns of activity in the superficial layers, turning these into oscillatory motor commands...
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