Inevitable evolutionary temporal elements in neural processing: A study based on evolutionary simulations

Uri Yerushalmi, Mina Teicher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Recent studies have suggested that some neural computational mechanism are based on the fine temporal structure of spiking activity. However, less effort has been devoted to investigating the evolutionary aspects of such mechanisms. In this paper we explore the issue of temporal neural computation from an evolutionary point of view, using a genetic simulation of the evolutionary development of neural systems. We evolve neural systems in an environment with selective pressure based on mate finding, and examine the temporal aspects of the evolved systems. In repeating evolutionary sessions, there was a significant increase during evolution in the mutual information between the evolved agent's temporal neural representation and the external environment. In ten different simulated evolutionary session, there was an increased effect of time-related neural ablations on the agents' fitness. These results suggest that in some fitness landscapes the emergence of temporal elements in neural computational is almost inevitable. Future research using similar evolutionary simulations may shed new light on various biological mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1863
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2008


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