Spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) is a set of Hebbian learning rules firmly based on biological evidence. It has been demonstrated that one of the STDP learning rules is suited for learning spatiotemporal patterns. When multiple neurons are organized in a simple competitive spiking neural network, this network is capable of learning multiple distinct patterns. If patterns overlap significantly (i.e., patterns are mutually inclusive), however, competition would not preclude trained neuron’s responding to a new pattern and adjusting synaptic weights accordingly.

This letter presents a simple neural network that combines vertical inhibition and Euclidean distance-dependent synaptic strength factor. This approach helps to solve the problem of pattern size-dependent parameter optimality and significantly reduces the probability of a neuron’s forgetting an already learned pattern. For demonstration purposes, the network was trained for the first ten letters of the Braille alphabet.

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