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How to Find Decision Makers in Neural Networks

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A PUBLISHER’S ERRATUM to this article was published on 21 December 2005


Nervous systems often face the problem of classifying stimuli and making decisions based on these classifications. The neurons involved in these tasks can be characterized as sensory or motor, according to their correlation with sensory stimulus or motor response. In this study we define a third class of neurons responsible for making perceptual decisions. Our mathematical formalism enables the weighting of neuronal units according to their contribution to decision making, thus narrowing the field for more detailed studies of underlying mechanisms. We develop two definitions of a contribution to decision making. The first definition states that decision making activity can be found at the points of emergence for behavioral correlations in the system. The second definition involves the study of propagation of noise in the network. The latter definition is shown to be equivalent to the first one in the cases when they can be compared. Our results suggest a new approach to analyzing decision making networks

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Correspondence to Alexei A. Koulakov.

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Koulakov, A.A., Rinberg, D.A. & Tsigankov, D.N. How to Find Decision Makers in Neural Networks. Biol Cybern 93, 447–462 (2005).

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