Recognizing specific spatiotemporal patterns of activity, which take place at timescales much larger than the synaptic transmission and membrane time constants, is a demand from the nervous system exemplified, for instance, by auditory processing. We consider the total synaptic input that a single readout neuron receives on presentation of spatiotemporal spiking input patterns. Relying on the monotonic relation between the mean and the variance of a neuron's input current and its spiking output, we derive learning rules that increase the variance of the input current evoked by learned patterns relative to that obtained from random background patterns. We demonstrate that the model can successfully recognize a large number of patterns and exhibits a slow deterioration in performance with increasing number of learned patterns. In addition, robustness to time warping of the input patterns is revealed to be an emergent property of the model. Using a leaky integrate-and-fire realization of the readout neuron, we demonstrate that the above results also apply when considering spiking output.

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