FARFAN Fernando Daniel
Neural encoding schemes of tactile information in afferent activity of the vibrissal system
FERNANDO DANIEL FARFÁN; ANA LÍA ALBARRACÍN; CARMELO JOSÉ FELICE
JOURNAL OF COMPUTATIONAL NEUROSCIENCE
Lugar: Berlin; Año: 2013 vol. 34 p. 89 - 101
When rats acquire sensory information by actively moving their vibrissae, a neural code is manifested at different levels of the sensory system. Behavioral studies in tactile discrimination agree that rats can distinguish different roughness surfaces by whisking their vibrissae. The present study explores the existence of neural encoding in the afferent activity of one vibrissal nerve. Two neural encoding schemes based on events were proposed (cumulative event count and median inter-event time). The events were detected by using an event detection algorithm based on multiscale decomposition of the signal (Continuous Wavelet Transform). The encoding schemes were quantitatively evaluated through the maximum amount of information which was obtained by the Shannons mutual information formula. Moreover, the effect of difference distances between rat snout and swept surfaces on the information values was also studied. We found that roughness information was encoded by events of 0.8 ms duration in the cumulative event count and event of 1.0 to 1.6 ms duration in the median inter-event count. It was also observed that an extreme decrease of the distance between rat snout and swept surfaces significantly reduces the information values and the capacity to discriminate among the sweep situations.