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Benda, Jan; Gollisch, Tim; Machens, Christian K. and Herz, Andreas V. M. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3836-565X (2007): From response to stimulus: adaptive sampling in sensory physiology. In: Current Opinion in Neurobiology, Vol. 17, No. 4: pp. 430-436

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Sensory systems extract behaviorally relevant information from a continuous stream of complex high-dimensional input signals. Understanding the detailed dynamics and precise neural code, even of a single neuron, is therefore a non-trivial task. Automated closed-loop approaches that integrate data analysis in the experimental design ease the investigation of sensory systems in three directions: First, adaptive sampling speeds up the data acquisition and thus increases the yield of an experiment. Second, model-driven stimulus exploration improves the quality of experimental data needed to discriminate between alternative hypotheses. Third, information-theoretic data analyses open up novel ways to search for those stimuli that are most efficient in driving a given neuron in terms of its firing rate or coding quality. Examples from different sensory systems show that, in all three directions, substantial progress can be achieved once rapid online data analysis, adaptive sampling, and computational modeling are tightly integrated into experiments.

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