Information processing with population codes

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2000 Nov;1(2):125-32. doi: 10.1038/35039062.


Information is encoded in the brain by populations or clusters of cells, rather than by single cells. This encoding strategy is known as population coding. Here we review the standard use of population codes for encoding and decoding information, and consider how population codes can be used to support neural computations such as noise removal and nonlinear mapping. More radical ideas about how population codes may directly represent information about stimulus uncertainty are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Mental Processes* / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Nonlinear Dynamics