University of Leicester
19_Neurocomputing__preprint.pdf (1.82 MB)

A unified neural circuit of causal inference and multisensory integration

Download (1.82 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2019-07-08, 14:56 authored by Ying Fang, Zhaofei Yu, Jian K. Liu, Feng Chen
Causal inference and multisensory integration are two fundamental processes of perception. It is generally believed that there should be one unified neural circuit in the brain to realize these two processes in an optimal way. However, there is no solution yet due to the complicated neural implementation for posterior probability computation. In this study, we propose a unified neural network by solving the complicated posterior probability computation. A unified theoretical framework is presented from the viewpoint of expectation. In addition, a biologically realistic neural circuit is proposed with the combination of importance sampling and probabilistic population coding. Theoretical analyses and simulation results manifest that our proposed neural circuit can implement both causal inference and multisensory integration. Taken together, our framework provides a new perspective of how different perceptual tasks can be performed by the same neural circuit.


This work is supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 61671266, 61327902, 61806011, in part by Tsinghua University Initiative Scientific Research Program under Grant 20161080084, and in part by National High-tech Research and Development Plan under Grant 2015AA042306, in part by National Postdoctoral Program for Innovative Talents under Grant BX20180005, and in part by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation under Grant 2018M630036, and in part by International Talent Exchange Program of Beijing Municipal Commission of Science and Technology under Grant Z181100001018026, and in part by the Royal Society Newton Advanced Fellowship under Grant NAF-R1-191082.



Neurocomputing, 2019, 358, pp. 355-368 (14)

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF LIFE SCIENCES/Biological Sciences/Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in








Acceptance date


Copyright date


Publisher version


The file associated with this record is under embargo until 12 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.