Shahidi N, Rozenblit F, Khani MH, Schreyer HM, Mietsch M, Protti DA, Gollisch T
The dichotomy of excitation and suppression is one of the canonical mechanisms explaining the complexity of the neural activity. Computational models of the interplay of excitation and suppression in single neurons aim at investigating how this interaction affects a neuron’s spiking responses and shapes, for example, the encoding of sensory stimuli. Here, we compare the performance of three filter-based stimulus-encoding models in predicting retinal ganglion cell responses recorded from axolotl, mouse, and marmoset retina to different types of temporally varying visual stimuli. Suppression in these models is implemented via subtractive or divisive interactions of stimulus filters or by a response-driven feedback module. For the majority of ganglion cells, the subtractive and divisive models perform similarly and outperform the feedback model as well as a linear-nonlinear (LN) model with no suppression. Comparison between the subtractive and the divisive model depended on cell type, species, and stimulus components, with the divisive model generalizing best across temporal stimulus frequencies and visual contrast and the subtractive model capturing in particular responses for slow temporal stimulus dynamics and for slow axolotl cells. Overall, we conclude that the divisive and subtractive models are well suited for capturing interactions of excitation and suppression in ganglion cells and emphasize different temporal regimes of these interactions.