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Statistical Models of Linear and Nonlinear Contextual Interactions in Early Visual Processing
Ruben Coen-Cagli · Peter Dayan · Odelia Schwartz

Tue Dec 08 07:00 PM -- 11:59 PM (PST) @

A central hypothesis about early visual processing is that it represents inputs in a coordinate system matched to the statistics of natural scenes. Simple versions of this lead to Gabor-like receptive fields and divisive gain modulation from local surrounds; these have led to influential neural and psychological models of visual processing. However, these accounts are based on an incomplete view of the visual context surrounding each point. Here, we consider an approximate model of linear and non-linear correlations between the responses of spatially distributed Gabor-like receptive fields, which, when trained on an ensemble of natural scenes, unifies a range of spatial context effects. The full model accounts for neural surround data in primary visual cortex (V1), provides a statistical foundation for perceptual phenomena associated with Lis (2002) hypothesis that V1 builds a saliency map, and fits data on the tilt illusion.

Author Information

Ruben Coen-Cagli (Albert Einstein College of Medicine)
Peter Dayan (Gatsby Unit, UCL)

I am Director of the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit at University College London. I studied mathematics at the University of Cambridge and then did a PhD at the University of Edinburgh, specialising in associative memory and reinforcement learning. I did postdocs with Terry Sejnowski at the Salk Institute and Geoff Hinton at the University of Toronto, then became an Assistant Professor in Brain and Cognitive Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before moving to UCL.

Odelia Schwartz (Albert Einstein College of Medicine)

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