We are interested in how sensory systems work in ecological environments, and in particular in the perception of space, which is shared across almost all sensory modalities.
We are interested in understanding how sensory systems work in ecological environments, taking the example of sound localization. Many psychological and physiological studies consider idealized settings for technical and experimental reasons, but the real challenge of the auditory system is to localize sounds in complex environments.
Fast learning in balanced networks
Long-term memory is thought to rely on the strengthening of co-active synapses. This physiological mechanism is generally considered to be very gradual, and yet new sensory stimuli can be learned with just a few presentations. Here we show theoretically that this apparent paradox can be solved when there is a tight balance between excitatory and inhibitory input. In this case, small synaptic modifications applied to the many synapses onto a given neuron disrupt that balance and produce a large effect even for modifications induced by a single stimulus.