Inhibitory synapses between striatal projection neurons support efficient enhancement of cortical signals: A computational model
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The function of lateral inhibitory synapses between striatal projection neurons is currently poorly understood. This paper puts forward a model suggesting that inhibitory collaterals can be used to enhance the incoming cortical signals. In particular, we propose that lateral inhibition between projection neurons performs a signal-enhancing process that resembles the image processing technique of “unsharp masking”, where a blurred copy is used to enhance and sharpen an input image. The paper also presents the results of computer simulations deomsntrating that the proposed mechanisms is compatible with known properties of striatal projection neurons, and outperforms alternative models of lateral inhibition. Finally, this paper illustrates the advantages of the proposed model and discusses the relevance of these conclusions for existing computational models of the basal ganglia and their role in cognition.
KeywordsStriatum Lateral inhibition Unsharp masking Medium spiny neurons Projection neurons
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