How well can we estimate the information carried in neuronal responses from limited samples?

David Golomb, John Hertz, Stefano Panzeri, Alessandro Treves, Barry Richmond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


It is difficult to extract the information carried by neuronal responses about a set of stimuli because limited data samples result in biased estimates. Recently two improved procedures have been developed to calculate information from experimental results: a binning-and-correcting procedure and a neural network procedure. We have used data produced from a model of the spatiotemporal receptive fields of parvocellular and magnocellular lateral geniculate neurons to study the performance of these methods as a function of the number of trials used. Both procedures yield accurate results for one-dimensional neuronal codes. They can also be used to produce a reasonable estimate of the extra information in a three-dimensional code, in this instance, within 0.05-0.1 bit of the asymptotically calculated value - about 10% of the total transmitted information. We believe that this performance is much more accurate than previous procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-665
Number of pages17
JournalNeural Computation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Apr 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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