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Assessing within-trial and across-trial neural variability in macaque frontal eye fields and their relation to behaviour

Sendhilnathan, N and Basu, D and Murthy, A (2020) Assessing within-trial and across-trial neural variability in macaque frontal eye fields and their relation to behaviour. In: European Journal of Neuroscience, 52 (10). pp. 4267-4282.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/ejn.14864


The conventional approach to understanding neural responses underlying complex computations is to study across-trial averages of repeatedly performed computations from single neurons. When neurons perform complex computations, such as processing stimulus-related information or movement planning, it has been repeatedly shown, through measures such as the Fano factor (FF), that neural variability across trials decreases. However, multiple neurons contribute to a common computation on a single trial, rather than a single neuron contributing to a computation across multiple trials. Therefore, at the level of a single trial, the concept of FF loses significance. Here, using a combination of simulations and empirical data, we show that changes in the spiking regularity on single trials produce changes in FF. Further, at the behavioural level, the reaction time of the animal was faster when the neural spiking regularity both within and across trials was lower. Taken together, our results provide further constraints on how changes in spiking statistics help neurons optimally encode visual and saccade-related information across multiple timescales and its implication on behaviour. © 2020 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: European Journal of Neuroscience
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Additional Information: The copyright belongs to Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Keywords: animal experiment; article; cognition; computer model; controlled study; frontal eye field; human; Macaca; nerve cell; nonhuman; prefrontal cortex; reaction time; saccadic eye movement; simulation
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Neuroscience
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2021 09:38
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2021 09:38
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/66200

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