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Questioning the role of sparse coding in the brain.

Spanne, Anton LU and Jörntell, Henrik LU (2015) In Trends in Neurosciences 38(7). p.417-427
Abstract
Coding principles are central to understanding the organization of brain circuitry. Sparse coding offers several advantages, but a near-consensus has developed that it only has beneficial properties, and these are partially unique to sparse coding. We find that these advantages come at the cost of several trade-offs, with the lower capacity for generalization being especially problematic, and the value of sparse coding as a measure and its experimental support are both questionable. Furthermore, silent synapses and inhibitory interneurons can permit learning speed and memory capacity that was previously ascribed to sparse coding only. Combining these properties without exaggerated sparse coding improves the capacity for generalization and... (More)
Coding principles are central to understanding the organization of brain circuitry. Sparse coding offers several advantages, but a near-consensus has developed that it only has beneficial properties, and these are partially unique to sparse coding. We find that these advantages come at the cost of several trade-offs, with the lower capacity for generalization being especially problematic, and the value of sparse coding as a measure and its experimental support are both questionable. Furthermore, silent synapses and inhibitory interneurons can permit learning speed and memory capacity that was previously ascribed to sparse coding only. Combining these properties without exaggerated sparse coding improves the capacity for generalization and facilitates learning of models of a complex and high-dimensional reality. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Trends in Neurosciences
volume
38
issue
7
pages
417 - 427
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • pmid:26093844
  • wos:000357757500005
  • scopus:84937191224
ISSN
1878-108X
DOI
10.1016/j.tins.2015.05.005
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
231ba04d-53c7-4931-a389-dc85aec6ef0a (old id 7484450)
alternative location
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26093844?dopt=Abstract
date added to LUP
2015-07-08 20:59:21
date last changed
2017-10-22 03:07:48
@article{231ba04d-53c7-4931-a389-dc85aec6ef0a,
  abstract     = {Coding principles are central to understanding the organization of brain circuitry. Sparse coding offers several advantages, but a near-consensus has developed that it only has beneficial properties, and these are partially unique to sparse coding. We find that these advantages come at the cost of several trade-offs, with the lower capacity for generalization being especially problematic, and the value of sparse coding as a measure and its experimental support are both questionable. Furthermore, silent synapses and inhibitory interneurons can permit learning speed and memory capacity that was previously ascribed to sparse coding only. Combining these properties without exaggerated sparse coding improves the capacity for generalization and facilitates learning of models of a complex and high-dimensional reality.},
  author       = {Spanne, Anton and Jörntell, Henrik},
  issn         = {1878-108X},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7},
  pages        = {417--427},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Trends in Neurosciences},
  title        = {Questioning the role of sparse coding in the brain.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tins.2015.05.005},
  volume       = {38},
  year         = {2015},
}