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Flexible Control of Mutual Inhibition: A Neural Model of Two-Interval Discrimination

Science  18 Feb 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5712, pp. 1121-1124
DOI: 10.1126/science.1104171

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Abstract

Networks adapt to environmental demands by switching between distinct dynamical behaviors. The activity of frontal-lobe neurons during two-interval discrimination tasks is an example of these adaptable dynamics. Subjects first perceive a stimulus, then hold it in working memory, and finally make a decision by comparing it with a second stimulus. We present a simple mutual-inhibition network model that captures all three task phases within a single framework. The model integrates both working memory and decision making because its dynamical properties are easily controlled without changing its connectivity. Mutual inhibition between nonlinear units is a useful design motif for networks that must display multiple behaviors.

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