Latent Variable Models Reconstruct Diversity of Neuronal Response to Drifting Gratings in Murine Visual Cortex

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number9432961
Pages (from-to)75741-75750
Journal / PublicationIEEE Access
Online published17 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021



Decades of experimentation in visual neuroscience have been conducted with limited sample sizes of simultaneously recorded neurons. Past experiments have characterized the visual system based on statistical properties of individual neurons. Yet, no neuron functions in isolation: neural networks code information through their coordinated behavior. Calcium imaging can now simultaneously record larger populations than electrophysiological techniques could previously, allowing single-neuron analyses to be expanded to the network level. Larger datasets demand the development of computational approaches for network-level analysis. Our work validates a population modelling approach, utilizing two latent variable models and a large dataset of simultaneously recorded neurons. Rectified Latent Variable Model (RLVM) and Non-Negative Matrix Factorization (NNMF) were able to be fit to a large calcium imaging dataset without deconvolving the fluorescence signal into action potentials. These models show high reconstruction accuracy, with the RLVM outperforming NNMF. Both models' reconstruction performance can be predicted via regression with node density and cell behavior metrics as predictors, showing that RLVM and NNMF are more effective on networks with high node density. Neurons and estimated latent variables show a spectrum of functional groups in response to simple stimulus features, with groups ranging from orientation and frequency specific, to orientation specific frequency agnostic, or orientation specific frequency modulated. Clustering of behavior profiles reveals some similar response profile groups between neurons and estimated latent variables in response to drifting gratings stimuli.

Research Area(s)

  • Rectified latent variable model, non-negative matrix factorization, autoencoder, drifting gratings, primary visual cortex

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