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Neuronal Activity Packets as Basic Units of Neuronal Code

Mathematical Biology

Speaker: Artur Luczak, University of Lethbridge
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Location: 2112 MSB
Start time: Mon, Jan 23 2017, 3:10PM

Neurons are active in a coordinated fashion, for example, an onset response to sensory stimuli usually evokes a 50-100ms long burst of population activity. Recently it has been shown that such 'packets' of neuronal activity are not randomly organized, but rather composed of stereotypical sequential spiking patterns. It has been shown that such packets are a ubiquitous feature of stimulus evoked as well as of spontaneous network activity, and are present across different brain states. Although these packets have a generally conserved sequential spiking structure, the exact timing and number of spikes fired by each neuron within a packet can be modified depending on the stimuli. Here we present evidence that packets can be a good candidate for basic building blocks or 'the words' of neuronal coding, and can explain the mechanisms underlying multiple recent observations about neuronal coding, such as: multiplexing, LFP phase coding, and provide a possible connection between memory preplay and replay.