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3 Janelia Publications

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    12/04/17 | Extracting low-dimensional dynamics from multiple large-scale neural population recordings by learning to predict correlations.
    Nonnenmacher M, Turaga SC, Macke JH
    31st Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS 2017). 2017 Dec 04:

    A powerful approach for understanding neural population dynamics is to extract low-dimensional trajectories from population recordings using dimensionality reduction methods. Current approaches for dimensionality reduction on neural data are limited to single population recordings, and can not identify dynamics embedded across multiple measurements. We propose an approach for extracting low-dimensional dynamics from multiple, sequential recordings. Our algorithm scales to data comprising millions of observed dimensions, making it possible to access dynamics distributed across large populations or multiple brain areas. Building on subspace-identification approaches for dynamical systems, we perform parameter estimation by minimizing a moment-matching objective using a scalable stochastic gradient descent algorithm: The model is optimized to predict temporal covariations across neurons and across time. We show how this approach naturally handles missing data and multiple partial recordings, and can identify dynamics and predict correlations even in the presence of severe subsampling and small overlap between recordings. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach both on simulated data and a whole-brain larval zebrafish imaging dataset. 

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    12/04/17 | Fast amortized inference of neural activity from calcium imaging data with variational autoencoders.
    Speiser A, Yan J, Archer E, Buesing L, Turaga SC, Macke JH
    Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS 2017). 2017 Dec 04:

    Calcium imaging permits optical measurement of neural activity. Since intracellular calcium concentration is an indirect measurement of neural activity, computational tools are necessary to infer the true underlying spiking activity from fluorescence measurements. Bayesian model inversion can be used to solve this problem, but typically requires either computationally expensive MCMC sampling, or faster but approximate maximum-a-posteriori optimization. Here, we introduce a flexible algorithmic framework for fast, efficient and accurate extraction of neural spikes from imaging data. Using the framework of variational autoencoders, we propose to amortize inference by training a deep neural network to perform model inversion efficiently. The recognition network is trained to produce samples from the posterior distribution over spike trains. Once trained, performing inference amounts to a fast single forward pass through the network, without the need for iterative optimization or sampling. We show that amortization can be applied flexibly to a wide range of nonlinear generative models and significantly improves upon the state of the art in computation time, while achieving competitive accuracy. Our framework is also able to represent posterior distributions over spike-trains. We demonstrate the generality of our method by proposing the first probabilistic approach for separating backpropagating action potentials from putative synaptic inputs in calcium imaging of dendritic spines. 

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    12/04/17 | Model-based Bayesian inference of neural activity and connectivity from all-optical interrogation of a neural circuit.
    Aitchison L, Russell L, Packer AM, Yan J, Castonguaye P, Häusser M, Turaga SC
    31st Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS 2017). 2017 Dec 04:

    Population activity measurement by calcium imaging can be combined with cellular resolution optogenetic activity perturbations to enable the mapping of neural connectivity in vivo. This requires accurate inference of perturbed and unperturbed neural activity from calcium imaging measurements, which are noisy and indirect, and can also be contaminated by photostimulation artifacts. We have developed a new fully Bayesian approach to jointly inferring spiking activity and neural connectivity from in vivo all-optical perturbation experiments. In contrast to standard approaches that perform spike inference and analysis in two separate maximum-likelihood phases, our joint model is able to propagate uncertainty in spike inference to the inference of connectivity and vice versa. We use the framework of variational autoencoders to model spiking activity using discrete latent variables, low-dimensional latent common input, and sparse spike-and-slab generalized linear coupling between neurons. Additionally, we model two properties of the optogenetic perturbation: off-target photostimulation and photostimulation transients. Our joint model includes at least two sets of discrete random variables; to avoid the dramatic slowdown typically caused by being unable to differentiate such variables, we introduce two strategies that have not, to our knowledge, been used with variational autoencoders. Using this model, we were able to fit models on 30 minutes of data in just 10 minutes. We performed an all-optical circuit mapping experiment in primary visual cortex of the awake mouse, and use our approach to predict neural connectivity between excitatory neurons in layer 2/3. Predicted connectivity is sparse and consistent with known correlations with stimulus tuning, spontaneous correlation and distance.

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