Contour integration and segmentation with self-organized lateral connections
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Contour integration in low-level vision is believed to occur based on lateral interaction between neurons with similar orientation tuning. How such interactions could arise in the brain has been an open question. Our model suggests that the interactions can be learned through input-driven self-organization, i.e., through the same mechanism that underlies many other developmental and functional phenomena in the visual cortex. The model also shows how synchronized firing mediated by these lateral connections can represent the percept of a contour, resulting in performance similar to that of human contour integration. The model further demonstrates that contour integration performance can differ in different parts of the visual field, depending on what kinds of input distributions they receive during development. The model thus grounds an important perceptual phenomenon onto detailed neural mechanisms so that various structural and functional properties can be measured and predictions can be made to guide future experiments.
author list (cited authors)
Choe, Y., & Miikkulainen, R.