Descending feedback connections, together with ascending feedforward ones, are the indispensable parts of the sensory pathways in the central nervous system. This study investigates the potential roles of feedback interactions in neural information processing. We consider a two-layer continuous attractor neural network (CANN), in which neurons in the first layer receive feedback inputs from those in the second one. By utilizing the intrinsic property of a CANN, we use a projection method to reduce the dimensionality of the network dynamics significantly. The simplified dynamics allows us to elucidate the effects of feedback modulation analytically. We find that positive feedback enhances the stability of the network state, leading to an improved population decoding performance, whereas negative feedback increases the mobility of the network state, inducing spontaneously moving bumps. For strong, negative feedback interaction, the network response to a moving stimulus can lead the actual stimulus position, achieving an anticipative behavior. The biological implications of these findings are discussed. The simulation results agree well with our theoretical analysis.

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