A theory of neural integration in the head-direction system

Richard H.R. Hahnloser, Xiaohui Xie, H. Sebastian Seung

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Integration in the head-direction system is a computation by which horizontal angular head velocity signals from the vestibular nuclei are integrated to yield a neural representation of head direction. In the thalamus, the postsubiculum and the mammillary nuclei, the head-direction representation has the form of a place code: neurons have a preferred head direction in which their firing is maximal [Blair and Sharp, 1995, Blair et al., 1998, ?]. Integration is a difficult computation, given that head-velocities can vary over a large range. Previous models of the head-direction system relied on the assumption that the integration is achieved in a firing-rate-based attractor network with a ring structure. In order to correctly integrate head-velocity signals during high-speed head rotations, very fast synaptic dynamics had to be assumed. Here we address the question whether integration in the head-direction system is possible with slow synapses, for example excitatory NMDA and inhibitory GABA(B) type synapses. For neural networks with such slow synapses, rate-based dynamics are a good approximation of spiking neurons [Ermentrout, 1994]. We find that correct integration during high-speed head rotations imposes strong constraints on possible network architectures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems 14 - Proceedings of the 2001 Conference, NIPS 2001
PublisherNeural information processing systems foundation
ISBN (Print)0262042088, 9780262042086
StatePublished - 2002
Event15th Annual Neural Information Processing Systems Conference, NIPS 2001 - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Duration: Dec 3 2001Dec 8 2001

Publication series

NameAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
ISSN (Print)1049-5258

Other

Other15th Annual Neural Information Processing Systems Conference, NIPS 2001
CountryCanada
CityVancouver, BC
Period12/3/0112/8/01

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing

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  • Cite this

    Hahnloser, R. H. R., Xie, X., & Seung, H. S. (2002). A theory of neural integration in the head-direction system. In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 14 - Proceedings of the 2001 Conference, NIPS 2001 (Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems). Neural information processing systems foundation.