Understanding Sensory Information Processing Through Simultaneous Multi-area Population Recordings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The goal of sensory neuroscience is to understand how the brain creates its myriad of representations of the world, and uses these representations to produce perception and behavior. Circuits of neurons in spatially segregated regions of brain tissue have distinct functional specializations, and these regions are connected to form a functional processing hierarchy. Advances in technology for recording neuronal activity from multiple sites in multiple cortical areas mean that we are now able to collect data that reflects how information is transformed within and between connected members of this hierarchy. This advance is an important step in understanding the brain because, after the sensory organs have transduced a physical signal, every processing stage takes the activity of other neurons as its input, not measurements of the physical world. However, as we explore the potential of studying how populations of neurons in multiple areas respond in concert, we must also expand both the analytical tools that we use to make sense of these data and the scope of the theories that we attempt to define. In this article, we present an overview of some of the most promising analytical approaches for making inferences from population recordings in multiple brain areas, such as dimensionality reduction and measuring changes in correlated variability, and examine how they may be used to address longstanding questions in sensory neuroscience.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115
Number of pages7
JournalFrontiers in Neural Circuits
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2019


  • hierarchical processing
  • inter-area communication
  • neural computation
  • neuronal populations
  • sensory coding

Cite this