The Effect of Correlated Variability on
the Accuracy of a Population Code
Volen Center and Department of Biology
Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit
University College London
Neural Computation, 11, 91-101
We study the impact of correlated neuronal firing rate variability on
the accuracy with which an encoded quantity can be extracted from a population of neurons.
Contrary to a widespread belief, correlations in the variabilities of neuronal firing
rates do not, in general, limit the increase in coding accuracy provided by using large
populations of encoding neurons. Furthermore, in some cases, but not all, correlations
improve the accuracy of a population code.
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