Predicting proprioceptive cortical anatomy and neural coding with topographic autoencoders
Max Grogan, A. Aldo Faisal, Imperial College London, United Kingdom; Lee Miller, Kyle Blum, Northwestern University, United States
Posters 2 Poster
Pacific Ballroom H-O
Fri, 26 Aug, 19:30 - 21:30 Pacific Time (UTC -7)
Proprioception is one of the least understood senses yet fundamental for the control of movement. Even basic questions of how limb pose is represented in the somatosensory cortex are unclear. We developed a variational autoencoder with topographic lateral connectivity (topo-VAE) to compute a putative cortical map from a large set of natural movement data. Although not fitted to neural data, our model reproduces tuning properties of individual neurons and the spatial organisation of this tuning, when compared to empirical observations. The model makes several testable predictions: 1. Encoding of PDs across the cortex has a blob-and-pinwheel type geometry. 2. Few neurons will encode just a single joint. Topo-VAEs provide a principled basis for understanding cortical representations, and the theoretical basis of neural manifolds, with possible applications to a range of cognitive processes.