Traditional approaches to neural coding characterize the encoding of known stimuli in average neural responses. Organisms face nearly the opposite task-extracting information about an unknown time-dependent stimulus from short segments of a spike train. Here the neural code was characterized from the point of view of the organism, clminating in algorithms for real-time stimulus estimation based on a single example of the spike train. These methods were applied to an identified movement-sensitive neuron in the fly visual system. Such decoding experiments determined the effective noise level and fault tolerance of neural computation, and the structure of the decoding algorithms suggested a simple model for real-time analog signal processing with spiking neurons.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes