How Active Dendrites Enable Prediction and Context Integration in Neurons - August 18, 2021

Subutai Ahmad reviews the biology behind active dendrites and explains how Numenta models them. He first presents an overview of active dendrites in pyramidal neurons by describing various experimental findings. He describes the impact of dendrites on the computation performed by neurons, and some of the learning (plasticity) rules that have been discovered. He shows how all this forms the substrate for the HTM neuron, proposing that dendritic computation is the basis for prediction and very flexible context integration in neural networks.

Bartlett Mel, Neural Computation 1992
Poirazi, Brannon & Mel, Neuron, 2003

Numenta Neurons Paper 2016
Numenta Columns Paper 2017

“Predictive Coding of Novel versus Familiar Stimuli in the Primary Visual Cortex”
“Continuous online sequence learning with an unsupervised neural network model”
‘Unsupervised real-time anomaly detection for streaming data”
“Active properties of neocortical pyramidal neuron dendrites”


Goetz, L., Roth, A., & Häusser, M. (2021). Active dendrites enable strong but sparse inputs to determine orientation selectivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , 118 (30).

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