Variational Learning for Recurrent Spiking Networks

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 24 (NIPS 2011)

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Danilo Rezende, Daan Wierstra, Wulfram Gerstner


We derive a plausible learning rule updating the synaptic efficacies for feedforward, feedback and lateral connections between observed and latent neurons. Operating in the context of a generative model for distributions of spike sequences, the learning mechanism is derived from variational inference principles. The synaptic plasticity rules found are interesting in that they are strongly reminiscent of experimentally found results on Spike Time Dependent Plasticity, and in that they differ for excitatory and inhibitory neurons. A simulation confirms the method's applicability to learning both stationary and temporal spike patterns.