Reinforcement learning in natural and artificial systems

An analytically tractable Bayesian approximation to optimal filtering based on point process observations, which allows us to introduce distributional assumptions about sensory cell properties, that greatly facilitates the analysis of optimal encoding in situations deviating from common assumptions of uniform coding. The analytic framework leads to insights which are difficult to obtain from numerical algorithms, and is consistent with experiments about the distribution of tuning curve centers. Interestingly, we find that the information gained from the absence of spikes may be crucial to performance.

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