Disentangling the flow of signals between populations of neurons

Evren Gokcen, Anna I. Jasper, João D. Semedo, Amin Zandvakili, Adam Kohn, Christian K. Machens, Byron M. Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Technological advances now allow us to record from large populations of neurons across multiple brain areas. These recordings may illuminate how communication between areas contributes to brain function, yet a substantial barrier remains: how do we disentangle the concurrent, bidirectional flow of signals between populations of neurons? We propose here a dimensionality reduction framework, delayed latents across groups (DLAG), that disentangles signals relayed in each direction, identifies how these signals are represented by each population and characterizes how they evolve within and across trials. We demonstrate that DLAG performs well on synthetic datasets similar in scale to current neurophysiological recordings. Then we study simultaneously recorded populations in primate visual areas V1 and V2, where DLAG reveals signatures of bidirectional yet selective communication. Our framework lays a foundation for dissecting the intricate flow of signals across populations of neurons, and how this signalling contributes to cortical computation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-525
Number of pages14
JournalNature Computational Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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