Neuronal Assembly Models of Compositionality

Alexander Maye and Andreas K. Engel

in The Oxford Handbook of Compositionality

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199541072
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 Neuronal Assembly Models of Compositionality

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Linguistics
  • Cognitive Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology


Show Summary Details


This article reviews theories explaining the formation of neuronal assemblies and the functions that assemblies can have, presents computational models of oscillatory neural networks, and shows how they can carry information. The basic idea of a model, “correlation theory of brain function” is that, within a network of anatomical connections, smaller topological networks—cell assemblies in other words—can develop by means of synaptic modulation. This modulation is supposed to occur on two different timescales. Correlated activation of a set of neurons activates the synaptic connections between these neurons, while uncorrelated activation deactivates them. The correlation theory is neutral with regard to the neurophysiological types of correlated activity. The original idea refers to correlations between irregular spike trains or bursts of single neurons. A special case is the temporal correlation of rhythmic, or oscillatory, activity, which can be observed on the single neuron level as well as on the macroscopic level.

Keywords: neuronal assemblies; oscillatory neural networks; topological networks; synaptic modulation; synaptic connections

Article.  6450 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Cognitive Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.