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Neocortical layer 4 as a pluripotent function linearizer.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21248059     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
A highly effective kernel-based strategy used in Machine Learning is to transform the input space into a new "feature" space where nonlinear problems become linear and more readily solvable with efficient linear techniques. We propose that a similar "problem-linearization" strategy is used by the neocortical input layer 4 to reduce the difficulty of learning nonlinear relations between the afferent inputs to a cortical column and its to-be-learned upper-layer outputs. The key to this strategy is the presence of broadly tuned feed-forward inhibition in layer 4: it turns local layer 4 domains into functional analogs of Radial Basis Function networks, which are known for their universal function approximation capabilities. Using a computational model of layer 4 with feed-forward inhibition and Hebbian afferent connections, self-organized on natural images to closely match structural and functional properties of layer 4 of the cat primary visual cortex, we show that such layer-4-like networks have a strong intrinsic tendency to perform input transforms that automatically linearize a broad repertoire of potential nonlinear functions over the afferent inputs. This capacity for pluripotent function linearization, which is highly robust to variations in network parameters, suggests that layer 4 might contribute importantly to sensory information processing as a pluripotent function linearizer: performing such a transform of afferent inputs to a cortical column that makes possible for neurons in the upper layers of the column to learn and perform their complex functions using primarily linear operations.
Authors:
Oleg V Favorov; Olcay Kursun
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-1-19
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of neurophysiology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1522-1598     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-1-20     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375404     Medline TA:  J Neurophysiol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
1Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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