A neuronal population is a computational unit that receives a multivariate, time-varying input signal and creates a related multivariate output. These neural signals are modeled as stochastic processes that transmit information in real time, subject to stochastic noise. In a stationary environment, where the input signals can be characterized by constant statistical properties, the systematic relationship between its input and output processes determines the computation carried out by a population. When these statistical characteristics unexpectedly change, the population needs to adapt to its new environment if it is to maintain stable operation. Based on the general concept of homeostatic plasticity, we propose a simple compositional model of adaptive networks that achieve invariance with regard to undesired changes in the statistical properties of their input signals and maintain outputs with well-defined joint statistics. To achieve such invariance, the network model combines two functionally distinct types of plasticity. An abstract stochastic process neuron model implements a generalized form of intrinsic plasticity that adapts marginal statistics, relying only on mechanisms locally confined within each neuron and operating continuously in time, while a simple form of Hebbian synaptic plasticity operates on synaptic connections, thus shaping the interrelation between neurons as captured by a copula function. The combined effect of both mechanisms allows a neuron population to discover invariant representations of its inputs that remain stable under a wide range of transformations (e.g., shifting, scaling and (affine linear) mixing). The probabilistic model of homeostatic adaptation on a population level as presented here allows us to isolate and study the individual and the interaction dynamics of both mechanisms of plasticity and could guide the future search for computationally beneficial types of adaptation.

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