We present a model of visual computation based on tightly inter-connected cliques of pyramidal cells. It leads to a formal theory of cell assemblies, a specific relationship between correlated firing patterns and abstract functionality, and a direct calculation relating estimates of cortical cell counts to orientation hyperacuity. Our network architecture is unique in that (1) it supports a mode of computation that is both reliable and efficent; (2) the current-spike relations are modeled as an analog dynamical system in which the requisite computations can take place on the time scale required for an early stage of visual processing; and (3) the dynamics are triggered by the spatiotemporal response of cortical cells. This final point could explain why moving stimuli improve vernier sensitivity.

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