Place cells as feedforward readouts: huge capacity but little discretion

Manyi’s new paper on the capacity and combinatorics of place cell representations is on bioRxiv. Beautiful theoretical work from Samsonovich, Macnaughton, Battista, Monasson and others shows that recurrent models of place field generation are severely capacity-limited. What if place cells are largely feedforward-driven, computing coincidences between grid cell and landmark inputs? We show through analytical calculations and simulation that feedforward place cells can have a huge capacity. But at the same time, little flexibility or discretion in where to place their multiple fields, suggesting highly constrained firing geometries.

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