Reading a neural code

William Bialek, Fred Rieke, Rob R. De Ruyter Van Steveninck, David Warland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

679 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1854-1857
Number of pages4
Issue number5014
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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    Bialek, W., Rieke, F., De Ruyter Van Steveninck, R. R., & Warland, D. (1991). Reading a neural code. Science, 252(5014), 1854-1857.