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Frontiers in Neural Circuits


Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences


Head direction (HD) cells, which fire action potentials whenever an animal points its head in a particular direction, are thought to subserve the animal’s sense of spatial orientation. HD cells are found prominently in several thalamo-cortical regions including anterior thalamic nuclei, postsubiculum, medial entorhinal cortex, parasubiculum, and the parietal cortex. While a number of methods in neural decoding have been developed to assess the dynamics of spatial signals within thalamo-cortical regions, studies conducting a quantitative comparison of machine learning and statistical model-based decoding methods on HD cell activity are currently lacking. Here, we compare statistical model-based and machine learning approaches by assessing decoding accuracy and evaluate variables that contribute to population coding across thalamo-cortical HD cells.



Original Citation

Xu Z, Wu W, Winter SS, Mehlman ML, Butler WN, Simmons CM, Harvey RE, Berkowitz LE, Chen Y, Taube JS, Wilber AA and Clark BJ (2019) A Comparison of Neural Decoding Methods and Population Coding Across Thalamo-Cortical Head Direction Cells. Front. Neural Circuits 13:75. doi: 10.3389/fncir.2019.00075

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