Title: Testing efficient coding for a complete and inhomogeneous neural population
The theory of efficient coding under the linear Gaussian model, originally formulated by Linsker (1989), Atick & Redlich (1990), and van Hateren (1992), is quite well-known. However, its direct test with physiological data (a complete population of receptive fields) has been hampered in the past twenty years for two reasons: a) There is no physiological data available. b) The earlier models are too simplistic to compare with physiological data.
We resolve these two issues, and furthermore, we develop two novel methods to assess how the structures of the retinal transform match those of the theoretically derived, optimal transform. The main conclusion of this study is that the retinal transform is at least 80% optimal, when evaluated with the linear-Gaussian model.
We also clarify the characteristics of the retinal transform that are and are not explained by the proposed model, and discuss the future directions and preliminary results along these lines.
This is a joint work with Jeff Gauthier, Greg Field, Alexander Sher, John Shlens, Martin Greschner, Tim Machado, Keith Mathieson, Deborah Gunning, Alan Litke, Liam Paninski, EJ Chichilnisky, and Eero Simoncelli.