When cells respond well to complex stimuli, it is often difficult to determine which aspects of the stimulus are most relevant. We present a technique to describe the encoding of information on many stimulus features by a single cell. Based on the concept of conditional mutual information, we distinguish cells that are mono-, dual- or synergistic encoders, depending on their amount of specialisation for stimulus features. As an application of the technique, we show that cells in the macaque medial superior temporal area encode information on the direction of heading, but simultaneously on local features such as the direction of motion in small parts of their large spatial receptive field.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computer Science Applications
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Artificial Intelligence
- Extrastriate visual cortex
- Heading perception
- Information theory