Our real-time actions in everyday life reflect a range of spatiotemporal dynamic brain activity patterns, the consequence of neuronal computation with spikes in the brain. Most existing models with spiking neurons aim at solving static pattern recognition tasks such as image classification. Compared with static features, spatiotemporal patterns are more complex due to their dynamics in both space and time domains. Spatiotemporal pattern recognition based on learning algorithms with spiking neurons therefore remains challenging. We propose an end-to-end recurrent spiking neural network model trained with an algorithm based on spike latency and temporal difference backpropagation. Our model is a cascaded network with three layers of spiking neurons where the input and output layers are the encoder and decoder, respectively. In the hidden layer, the recurrently connected neurons with transmission delays carry out high-dimensional computation to incorporate the spatiotemporal dynamics of the inputs. The test results based on the data sets of spiking activities of the retinal neurons show that the proposed framework can recognize dynamic spatiotemporal patterns much better than using spike counts. Moreover, for 3D trajectories of a human action data set, the proposed framework achieves a test accuracy of 83.6% on average. Rapid recognition is achieved through the learning methodology–based on spike latency and the decoding process using the first spike of the output neurons. Taken together, these results highlight a new model to extract information from activity patterns of neural computation in the brain and provide a novel approach for spike-based neuromorphic computing.

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