Estimating the amount of information conveyed by a population of neurons

Front Neurosci. 2011 Jul 15;5:90. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2011.00090. eCollection 2011.


Recent technological advances have made the simultaneous recording of the activity of many neurons common. However, estimating the amount of information conveyed by the discharge of a neural population remains a significant challenge. Here we describe our recently published analysis method that assists in such estimates. We describe the key concepts and assumptions on which the method is based, illustrate its use with data from both simulated and real neurons recorded from the lateral geniculate nucleus of a monkey, and show how it can be used to calculate redundancy and synergy among neuronal groups.

Keywords: frequency analysis; information; neural population; redundancy.