Chi Fung, K. Wong, Si Wu
Time delay is pervasive in neural information processing. To achieve real-time tracking, it is critical to compensate the transmission and processing delays in a neural system. In the present study we show that dynamical synapses with short-term depression can enhance the mobility of a continuous attractor network to the extent that the system tracks time-varying stimuli in a timely manner. The state of the network can either track the instantaneous position of a moving stimulus perfectly (with zero-lag) or lead it with an effectively constant time, in agreement with experiments on the head-direction systems in rodents. The parameter regions for delayed, perfect and anticipative tracking correspond to network states that are static, ready-to-move and spontaneously moving, respectively, demonstrating the strong correlation between tracking performance and the intrinsic dynamics of the network. We also find that when the speed of the stimulus coincides with the natural speed of the network state, the delay becomes effectively independent of the stimulus amplitude.