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Neural signalling of probabilistic vectors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)902-913
Number of pages12
JournalPHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
Volume81
Issue number5
DOIs
PublishedDec 2014

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Abstract

Recent work combining cognitive neuroscience with computational modelling suggests that distributed patterns of neural firing may represent probability distributions. This paper asks: what makes it the case that distributed patterns of firing, as well as carrying information about (correlating with) probability distributions over worldly parameters, represent such distributions? In examples of probabilistic population coding, it is the way information is used in downstream processing so as to lead to successful behaviour. In these cases content depends on factors beyond bare information, contra Brian Skyrms’ (2010) view that representational content can be fully characterised in information-theoretic terms.

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