Spike patterns have been reported to encode sensory information in several brain areas. Here we assess the role of specific patterns in the neural code, by comparing the amount of information transmitted with different choices of the readout neural alphabet. This allows us to rank several alternative alphabets depending on the amount of information that can be extracted from them. One can thereby identify the specific patterns that constitute the most prominent ingredients of the code. We finally discuss the interplay of categorical and temporal information in the amount of synergy or redundancy in the neural code.
Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.