A Computer Simulation of Olfactory Cortex with Functional Implications for Storage and Retrieval of Olfactory Information

Part of Neural Information Processing Systems 0 (NIPS 1987)

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James Bower, Matthew Wilson


Based on anatomical and physiological data, we have developed a computer simulation of piri(cid:173) form (olfactory) cortex which is capable of reproducing spatial and temporal patterns of actual cortical activity under a variety of conditions. Using a simple Hebb-type learning rule in conjunc(cid:173) tion with the cortical dynamics which emerge from the anatomical and physiological organiza(cid:173) tion of the model, the simulations are capable of establishing cortical representations for differ(cid:173) ent input patterns. The basis of these representations lies in the interaction of sparsely distribut(cid:173) ed, highly divergent/convergent interconnections between modeled neurons. We have shown that different representations can be stored with minimal interference. and that following learning these representations are resistant to input degradation, allowing reconstruction of a representa(cid:173) tion following only a partial presentation of an original training stimulus. Further, we have demonstrated that the degree of overlap of cortical representations for different stimuli can also be modulated. For instance similar input patterns can be induced to generate distinct cortical representations (discrimination). while dissimilar inputs can be induced to generate overlapping representations (accommodation). Both features are presumably important in classifying olfacto(cid:173) ry stimuli.