Independent and redundant information in nearby cortical neurons
In the primary visual cortex (V1), nearby neurons are tuned to similar stimulus features, and, depending on the manner and time scale over which neuronal signals are analyzed, the resulting redundancy may mitigate deleterious effects of response variability. We estimated information rates in the short-time scale responses of clusters of up to six simultaneously recorded nearby neurons in monkey V1. Responses were almost independent if we kept track of which neuron fired each spike but were redundant if we summed responses over the cluster. Redundancy was independent of cluster size. Summing neuronal responses to reduce variability discards potentially useful information, and the discarded information increases with cluster size.