Thalamo-cortical model and protocol description. (A) Sketch of the structure of the simplified thalamo-cortical model considered, which is composed of an excitatory and an inhibitory population both for the cortex (\(cx\), \(in\)) and for the thalamus (\(tc\), \(re\)). Connectivity structure is represented by solid lines. The visual input is fed into the model through the thalamic population, mimicking the biological visual pathways. In the training phase a lateral stimulus enhances a specific subset of \(cx\) neurons to preferentially represent the stimulus. (B) Activity produced during training phase, pre-sleep retrieval and the first 40s of SO activity in the cx (top) and tc (bottom) populations. Only first 180 neurons in tc population are shown for visual purposes. In the training 3 instances of 3 classes of digits (0,1,2) are learned by the network. In the replay during sleep, thalamo-cortical connections promotes the activation of neurons coding for similar patterns of activity, causing the potentiation of cortico-cortical connections between neurons representing digits of the same class. A general depression reduces the largest synaptic weights. Post SO retrieval is not shown.