Apr 6 – 8, 2022
Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti, Venezia
Europe/Rome timezone

Timescales of neural activity, their inference and relevance.

Apr 6, 2022, 2:45 PM
Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti, Venezia

Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti, Venezia


Anna Levina (University of Tuebingen)


Timescales characterize how fast the observables change in time. In neuro science, they can be estimated from the measured activity and can be used, for example, as a signature of the memory trace in the activations. Inferring the
timescales seems to be an easy task; however, I will show you how the timescales are subject to a statistical bias that is impossible to remove by a simple mathematical transformation. Instead, I will advertise using a Bayesian method that infers the timescales by matching the statistics of the data. I will use the set of generating models with known timescales and search for the parameters that
give me the sample autocorrelation closest to the one from the data.
As a next step, I will use the method on the data recorded from a local population of the cortical neurons from the visual area V4. I will demonstrate that the ongoing spiking activity unfolds across at least two distinct timescales - fast and slow - and the slow timescale increases when monkeys attend to the
location of the receptive field. Finally, I will discuss this change’s relevance for behavior and cortical computations.

Presentation materials