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Spike Timing in Motor Control


Abstract: Last two-three decades have convinced the computational neuroscience community that sensory neurons encode information about the world not just in their firing rate, but also in the precise timing of their action potentials. However, whether this information is used by animals to actually drive behavior has never been shown. In this talk, in a time hopefully substantially shorter than a few decades, I will try to convince you that timing of spikes in multispike patterns, down to about 1 ms, is used by animals in their neural motor codes. I will focus primarily on control of vocalization and breathing in the Bengalese finch, a songbird, but will briefly discuss other animals too, from insects to monkeys.

[Video and text source: Center for Brains, Minds and Machines (CBMM) YouTube channel]