@article{1940,
abstract = {We typically think of cells as responding to external signals independently by regulating their gene expression levels, yet they often locally exchange information and coordinate. Can such spatial coupling be of benefit for conveying signals subject to gene regulatory noise? Here we extend our information-theoretic framework for gene regulation to spatially extended systems. As an example, we consider a lattice of nuclei responding to a concentration field of a transcriptional regulator (the "input") by expressing a single diffusible target gene. When input concentrations are low, diffusive coupling markedly improves information transmission; optimal gene activation functions also systematically change. A qualitatively new regulatory strategy emerges where individual cells respond to the input in a nearly step-like fashion that is subsequently averaged out by strong diffusion. While motivated by early patterning events in the Drosophila embryo, our framework is generically applicable to spatially coupled stochastic gene expression models.},
author = {Sokolowski, Thomas R and Tkacik, Gasper},
journal = {Physical Review E Statistical Nonlinear and Soft Matter Physics},
number = {6},
publisher = {American Institute of Physics},
title = {{Optimizing information flow in small genetic networks. IV. Spatial coupling}},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevE.91.062710},
volume = {91},
year = {2015},
}
@article{1539,
abstract = {Many stochastic models of biochemical reaction networks contain some chemical species for which the number of molecules that are present in the system can only be finite (for instance due to conservation laws), but also other species that can be present in arbitrarily large amounts. The prime example of such networks are models of gene expression, which typically contain a small and finite number of possible states for the promoter but an infinite number of possible states for the amount of mRNA and protein. One of the main approaches to analyze such models is through the use of equations for the time evolution of moments of the chemical species. Recently, a new approach based on conditional moments of the species with infinite state space given all the different possible states of the finite species has been proposed. It was argued that this approach allows one to capture more details about the full underlying probability distribution with a smaller number of equations. Here, I show that the result that less moments provide more information can only stem from an unnecessarily complicated description of the system in the classical formulation. The foundation of this argument will be the derivation of moment equations that describe the complete probability distribution over the finite state space but only low-order moments over the infinite state space. I will show that the number of equations that is needed is always less than what was previously claimed and always less than the number of conditional moment equations up to the same order. To support these arguments, a symbolic algorithm is provided that can be used to derive minimal systems of unconditional moment equations for models with partially finite state space. },
author = {Ruess, Jakob},
journal = {Journal of Chemical Physics},
number = {24},
publisher = {American Institute of Physics},
title = {{Minimal moment equations for stochastic models of biochemical reaction networks with partially finite state space}},
doi = {10.1063/1.4937937},
volume = {143},
year = {2015},
}
@article{1697,
abstract = {Motion tracking is a challenge the visual system has to solve by reading out the retinal population. It is still unclear how the information from different neurons can be combined together to estimate the position of an object. Here we recorded a large population of ganglion cells in a dense patch of salamander and guinea pig retinas while displaying a bar moving diffusively. We show that the bar’s position can be reconstructed from retinal activity with a precision in the hyperacuity regime using a linear decoder acting on 100+ cells. We then took advantage of this unprecedented precision to explore the spatial structure of the retina’s population code. The classical view would have suggested that the firing rates of the cells form a moving hill of activity tracking the bar’s position. Instead, we found that most ganglion cells in the salamander fired sparsely and idiosyncratically, so that their neural image did not track the bar. Furthermore, ganglion cell activity spanned an area much larger than predicted by their receptive fields, with cells coding for motion far in their surround. As a result, population redundancy was high, and we could find multiple, disjoint subsets of neurons that encoded the trajectory with high precision. This organization allows for diverse collections of ganglion cells to represent high-accuracy motion information in a form easily read out by downstream neural circuits.},
author = {Marre, Olivier and Botella Soler, Vicente and Simmons, Kristina and Mora, Thierry and Tkacik, Gasper and Berry, Michael},
journal = {PLoS Computational Biology},
number = {7},
publisher = {Public Library of Science},
title = {{High accuracy decoding of dynamical motion from a large retinal population}},
doi = {10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004304},
volume = {11},
year = {2015},
}
@article{1655,
abstract = {Quantifying behaviors of robots which were generated autonomously from task-independent objective functions is an important prerequisite for objective comparisons of algorithms and movements of animals. The temporal sequence of such a behavior can be considered as a time series and hence complexity measures developed for time series are natural candidates for its quantification. The predictive information and the excess entropy are such complexity measures. They measure the amount of information the past contains about the future and thus quantify the nonrandom structure in the temporal sequence. However, when using these measures for systems with continuous states one has to deal with the fact that their values will depend on the resolution with which the systems states are observed. For deterministic systems both measures will diverge with increasing resolution. We therefore propose a new decomposition of the excess entropy in resolution dependent and resolution independent parts and discuss how they depend on the dimensionality of the dynamics, correlations and the noise level. For the practical estimation we propose to use estimates based on the correlation integral instead of the direct estimation of the mutual information based on next neighbor statistics because the latter allows less control of the scale dependencies. Using our algorithm we are able to show how autonomous learning generates behavior of increasing complexity with increasing learning duration.},
author = {Martius, Georg S and Olbrich, Eckehard},
journal = {Entropy},
number = {10},
pages = {7266 -- 7297},
publisher = {Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute},
title = {{Quantifying emergent behavior of autonomous robots}},
doi = {10.3390/e17107266},
volume = {17},
year = {2015},
}
@article{1701,
abstract = {The activity of a neural network is defined by patterns of spiking and silence from the individual neurons. Because spikes are (relatively) sparse, patterns of activity with increasing numbers of spikes are less probable, but, with more spikes, the number of possible patterns increases. This tradeoff between probability and numerosity is mathematically equivalent to the relationship between entropy and energy in statistical physics. We construct this relationship for populations of up to N = 160 neurons in a small patch of the vertebrate retina, using a combination of direct and model-based analyses of experiments on the response of this network to naturalistic movies. We see signs of a thermodynamic limit, where the entropy per neuron approaches a smooth function of the energy per neuron as N increases. The form of this function corresponds to the distribution of activity being poised near an unusual kind of critical point. We suggest further tests of criticality, and give a brief discussion of its functional significance. },
author = {Tkacik, Gasper and Mora, Thierry and Marre, Olivier and Amodei, Dario and Palmer, Stephanie and Berry Ii, Michael and Bialek, William},
journal = {PNAS},
number = {37},
pages = {11508 -- 11513},
publisher = {National Academy of Sciences},
title = {{Thermodynamics and signatures of criticality in a network of neurons}},
doi = {10.1073/pnas.1514188112},
volume = {112},
year = {2015},
}
@article{1827,
abstract = {Bow-tie or hourglass structure is a common architectural feature found in many biological systems. A bow-tie in a multi-layered structure occurs when intermediate layers have much fewer components than the input and output layers. Examples include metabolism where a handful of building blocks mediate between multiple input nutrients and multiple output biomass components, and signaling networks where information from numerous receptor types passes through a small set of signaling pathways to regulate multiple output genes. Little is known, however, about how bow-tie architectures evolve. Here, we address the evolution of bow-tie architectures using simulations of multi-layered systems evolving to fulfill a given input-output goal. We find that bow-ties spontaneously evolve when the information in the evolutionary goal can be compressed. Mathematically speaking, bow-ties evolve when the rank of the input-output matrix describing the evolutionary goal is deficient. The maximal compression possible (the rank of the goal) determines the size of the narrowest part of the network—that is the bow-tie. A further requirement is that a process is active to reduce the number of links in the network, such as product-rule mutations, otherwise a non-bow-tie solution is found in the evolutionary simulations. This offers a mechanism to understand a common architectural principle of biological systems, and a way to quantitate the effective rank of the goals under which they evolved.},
author = {Friedlander, Tamar and Mayo, Avraham and Tlusty, Tsvi and Alon, Uri},
journal = {PLoS Computational Biology},
number = {3},
publisher = {Public Library of Science},
title = {{Evolution of bow-tie architectures in biology}},
doi = {10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004055 },
volume = {11},
year = {2015},
}
@article{1570,
abstract = {Grounding autonomous behavior in the nervous system is a fundamental challenge for neuroscience. In particular, self-organized behavioral development provides more questions than answers. Are there special functional units for curiosity, motivation, and creativity? This paper argues that these features can be grounded in synaptic plasticity itself, without requiring any higher-level constructs. We propose differential extrinsic plasticity (DEP) as a new synaptic rule for self-learning systems and apply it to a number of complex robotic systems as a test case. Without specifying any purpose or goal, seemingly purposeful and adaptive rhythmic behavior is developed, displaying a certain level of sensorimotor intelligence. These surprising results require no systemspecific modifications of the DEP rule. They rather arise from the underlying mechanism of spontaneous symmetry breaking,which is due to the tight brain body environment coupling. The new synaptic rule is biologically plausible and would be an interesting target for neurobiological investigation. We also argue that this neuronal mechanism may have been a catalyst in natural evolution.},
author = {Der, Ralf and Martius, Georg S},
journal = {PNAS},
number = {45},
pages = {E6224 -- E6232},
publisher = {National Academy of Sciences},
title = {{Novel plasticity rule can explain the development of sensorimotor intelligence}},
doi = {10.1073/pnas.1508400112},
volume = {112},
year = {2015},
}
@article{1861,
abstract = {Continuous-time Markov chains are commonly used in practice for modeling biochemical reaction networks in which the inherent randomness of themolecular interactions cannot be ignored. This has motivated recent research effort into methods for parameter inference and experiment design for such models. The major difficulty is that such methods usually require one to iteratively solve the chemical master equation that governs the time evolution of the probability distribution of the system. This, however, is rarely possible, and even approximation techniques remain limited to relatively small and simple systems. An alternative explored in this article is to base methods on only some low-order moments of the entire probability distribution. We summarize the theory behind such moment-based methods for parameter inference and experiment design and provide new case studies where we investigate their performance.},
author = {Ruess, Jakob and Lygeros, John},
journal = {ACM Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation},
number = {2},
publisher = {ACM},
title = {{Moment-based methods for parameter inference and experiment design for stochastic biochemical reaction networks}},
doi = {10.1145/2688906},
volume = {25},
year = {2015},
}
@article{1885,
abstract = {The concept of positional information is central to our understanding of how cells determine their location in a multicellular structure and thereby their developmental fates. Nevertheless, positional information has neither been defined mathematically nor quantified in a principled way. Here we provide an information-theoretic definition in the context of developmental gene expression patterns and examine the features of expression patterns that affect positional information quantitatively. We connect positional information with the concept of positional error and develop tools to directly measure information and error from experimental data. We illustrate our framework for the case of gap gene expression patterns in the early Drosophila embryo and show how information that is distributed among only four genes is sufficient to determine developmental fates with nearly single-cell resolution. Our approach can be generalized to a variety of different model systems; procedures and examples are discussed in detail. },
author = {Tkacik, Gasper and Dubuis, Julien and Petkova, Mariela and Gregor, Thomas},
journal = {Genetics},
number = {1},
pages = {39 -- 59},
publisher = {Genetics Society of America},
title = {{Positional information, positional error, and readout precision in morphogenesis: A mathematical framework}},
doi = {10.1534/genetics.114.171850},
volume = {199},
year = {2015},
}
@article{1564,
author = {Gilson, Matthieu and Savin, Cristina and Zenke, Friedemann},
journal = {Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience},
number = {11},
publisher = {Frontiers Research Foundation},
title = {{Editorial: Emergent neural computation from the interaction of different forms of plasticity}},
doi = {10.3389/fncom.2015.00145},
volume = {9},
year = {2015},
}