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Dynamic Computation in Visual Thalamocortical Networks

Department of Psychology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Entropy 2019, 21(5), 500;
Received: 13 March 2019 / Revised: 10 May 2019 / Accepted: 14 May 2019 / Published: 16 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Information Theory)
PDF [362 KB, uploaded 16 May 2019]


Contemporary neurodynamical frameworks, such as coordination dynamics and winnerless competition, posit that the brain approximates symbolic computation by transitioning between metastable attractive states. This article integrates these accounts with electrophysiological data suggesting that coherent, nested oscillations facilitate information representation and transmission in thalamocortical networks. We review the relationship between criticality, metastability, and representational capacity, outline existing methods for detecting metastable oscillatory patterns in neural time series data, and evaluate plausible spatiotemporal coding schemes based on phase alignment. We then survey the circuitry and the mechanisms underlying the generation of coordinated alpha and gamma rhythms in the primate visual system, with particular emphasis on the pulvinar and its role in biasing visual attention and awareness. To conclude the review, we begin to integrate this perspective with longstanding theories of consciousness and cognition. View Full-Text
Keywords: vision; metastable; oscillations; pulvinar; awareness; coherence; phase; representational spaces vision; metastable; oscillations; pulvinar; awareness; coherence; phase; representational spaces
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Moyal, R.; Edelman, S. Dynamic Computation in Visual Thalamocortical Networks. Entropy 2019, 21, 500.

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