Decoding V1 Neuronal Activity using Particle Filtering with Volterra Kernels

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 16 (NIPS 2003)

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Ryan Kelly, Tai Sing Lee


Decoding is a strategy that allows us to assess the amount of information neurons can provide about certain aspects of the visual scene. In this study, we develop a method based on Bayesian sequential updating and the particle filtering algorithm to decode the activity of V1 neurons in awake monkeys. A distinction in our method is the use of Volterra ker- nels to filter the particles, which live in a high dimensional space. This parametric Bayesian decoding scheme is compared to the optimal linear decoder and is shown to work consistently better than the linear optimal decoder. Interestingly, our results suggest that for decoding in real time, spike trains of as few as 10 independent but similar neurons would be sufficient for decoding a critical scene variable in a particular class of visual stimuli. The reconstructed variable can predict the neural activity about as well as the actual signal with respect to the Volterra kernels.