Neurons integrate inputs from thousands of afferents. Similarly, some experimental techniques record the pooled activity of large populations of cells. When cells in these populations are correlated, the correlation coefficient between the collective activity of two subpopulations is typically much larger than the correlation coefficient between individual cells: The act of pooling individual cell signals amplifies correlations. We give an overview of this phenomenon and present several implications. In particular, we show that pooling leads to synchronization in feedforward networks and that it can amplify and otherwise distort correlations between recorded signals.
Keywords: correlation, pooling, synchrony, feedforward networks
Citation: Rosenbaum R, Trousdale J and Josić K (2011) The effects of pooling on spike train correlations. Front. Neurosci. 5:58. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2011.00058
Received: 15 January 2011;
Paper pending published: 07 February 2011;
Accepted: 07 April 2011; Published online: 28 April 2011.
Edited by:Philipp Berens, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Germany
Reviewed by:Markus Diesmann, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Japan
Copyright: © 2011 Rosenbaum, Trousdale and Josić. This is an open-access article subject to a non-exclusive license between the authors and Frontiers Media SA, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and other Frontiers conditions are complied with.
*Correspondence: Robert Rosenbaum, University of Houston, Mathematics, 4800 Calhoun Road, Houston, 77004, TX, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
James Trousdale, University of Houston, Mathematics, Houston, 77004, TX, USA, email@example.com