IMR Press / FBL / Volume 26 / Issue 10 / DOI: 10.52586/4983
Open Access Article
Characterization of multiscale logic operations in the neural circuits
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1 Laboratory of Computational Neurophysics, Convergence Research Center for Brain Science, Brain Science Institute, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, 02792 Seoul, Republic of Korea
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy and Center for Theoretical Physics, Seoul National University, 08826 Seoul, Republic of Korea
3 School of Computational Sciences, Korea Institute for Advanced Study, 02455 Seoul, Republic of Korea

These authors contributed equally.

Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2021, 26(10), 723–739;
Submitted: 28 June 2021 | Revised: 24 July 2021 | Accepted: 5 August 2021 | Published: 30 October 2021
Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by BRI.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license (

Background: Ever since the seminal work by McCulloch and Pitts, the theory of neural computation and its philosophical foundation known as ‘computationalism’ have been central to brain-inspired artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. The present study describes neural dynamics and neural coding approaches to understand the mechanisms of neural computation. The primary focus is to characterize the multiscale nature of logic computations in the brain, which might occur at a single neuron level, between neighboring neurons via synaptic transmission, and at the neural circuit level. Results: For this, we begin the analysis with simple neuron models to account for basic Boolean logic operations at a single neuron level and then move on to the phenomenological neuron models to explain the neural computation from the viewpoints of neural dynamics and neural coding. The roles of synaptic transmission in neural computation are investigated using biologically realistic multi-compartment neuron models: two representative computational entities, CA1 pyramidal neuron in the hippocampus and Purkinje fiber in the cerebellum, are analyzed in the information-theoretic framework. We then construct two-dimensional mutual information maps, which demonstrate that the synaptic transmission can process not only basic AND/OR Boolean logic operations but also the linearly non-separable XOR function. Finally, we provide an overview of the evolutionary algorithm and discuss its benefits in automated neural circuit design for logic operations. Conclusions: This study provides a comprehensive perspective on the multiscale logic operations in the brain from both neural dynamics and neural coding viewpoints. It should thus be beneficial for understanding computational principles of the brain and may help design biologically plausible neuron models for AI devices.

Neural dynamics
Neural coding
Logic operation
Synaptic transmission
Information theory
Fig. 1.
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