Learning Simple Metrical Preferences in a Network of {F}itzhugh-{N}agumo Oscillators

The Proceedings of the Twenty-First Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, New Jersey(1999)


Hebbian learning is used to train a network of oscillators to prefer periodic signals of pulses over aperiodic signals. Target signals consisted of metronome-like voltage pulses with varying amounts of inter-onset noise injected. (with 0\% noise yielding a periodic signal and more noise yielding more and more aperiodic signals.) The oscillators---piecewise-linear approximations (Abbott, 1990) to Fitzhugh-Nagumo oscillators---are trained using mean phase coherence as an objective function. Before training a network is shown to readily synchronize with signals having wide range of noise. After training on a series of noise-free signals, a network is shown to only synchronize with signals having little or no noise. This represents a bias towards periodicity and is explained by strong positive coupling connections between oscillators having harmonically-related periods.

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