@article { sacramento12, abstract = {We investigate from a computational perspective the efficiency of the Willshaw synaptic update rule in the context of familiarity discrimination, a binary-answer, memory-related task that has been linked through psychophysical experiments with modified neural activity patterns in the prefrontal and perirhinal cortex regions. Our motivation for recovering this well-known learning prescription is two-fold: first, the switch-like nature of the induced synaptic bonds, as there is evidence that biological synaptic transitions might occur in a discrete stepwise fashion. Second, the possibility that in the mammalian brain, unused, silent synapses might be pruned in the long-term. Besides the usual pattern and network capacities, we calculate the synaptic capacity of the model, a recently proposed measure where only the functional subset of synapses is taken into account. We find that in terms of network capacity, Willshaw learning is strongly affected by the pattern coding rates, which have to be kept fixed and very low at any time to achieve a non-zero capacity in the large network limit. The information carried per functional synapse, however, diverges and is comparable to that of the pattern association case, even for more realistic moderately low activity levels that are a function of network size.}, journal = {Biological Cybernetics}, keywords = {Neural Computation;}, month = {in press}, number = {in press}, title = {Binary Willshaw learning yields high synaptic capacity for long-term familiarity memory}, volume = {in press}, year = {2012}, author = {João Sacramento and Andreas Wichert} }