Edge of Chaos and Prediction of Computational Performance for Neural Circuit Models

R. Legenstein and W. Maass


We analyze in this article the significance of the edge of chaos for real-time computations in neural microcircuit models consisting of spiking neurons and dynamic synapses. We find that the edge of chaos predicts quite well those values of circuit parameters that yield maximal computational performance. But obviously it makes no prediction of their computational performance for other parameter values. Therefore, we propose a new method for predicting the computational performance of neural microcircuit models. The new measure estimates directly the kernel property and the generalization capability of a neural microcircuit.We validate the proposed measure by comparing its prediction with direct evaluations of the computational performance of various neural microcircuit models. The proposed method also allows us to quantify differences in the computational performance and generalization capability of neural circuits in different dynamic regimes (UP- and DOWN-states) that have been demonstrated through intracellular recordings in vivo.

Reference: R. Legenstein and W. Maass. Edge of chaos and prediction of computational performance for neural circuit models. Neural Networks, 20(3):323-334, 2007.