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Functional Connectivity and Tuning Curves in Populations of Simultaneously Recorded Neurons

Figure 1

Functional connectivity and tuning curves.

A) Schematic illustrating how tuning properties may be related to functional connectivity. The tuning properties of observed neurons (black) are a direct result of input they receive from peripheral neurons (blue and red). Even when observed neurons do not have a direct relationship to external variables, each neuron may have apparent tuning caused by the input it receives from peripheral neurons and shaped by interactions with other observed neurons. B) A linear-nonlinear-Poisson model that includes both tuning properties as well as interactions or coupling between neurons. The firing rate of each neuron is modeled as a weighted sum of external variables as well as the activities of other observed neurons passed through an exponential nonlinearity. C) A toy example where tuning properties are explained away using coupling. In two simulated networks only neuron 1 is directly related to the external world (with Gaussian tuning). However, neurons 2 and 3 have tuning due to the input they receive from neuron 1 (middle). If these interactions are estimated, then coupling can fully explain the observed tuning (bottom).

Figure 1

doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002775.g001