Oral
Brain-Like Object Recognition with High-Performing Shallow Recurrent ANNs
Jonas Kubilius · Martin Schrimpf · Ha Hong · Najib Majaj · Rishi Rajalingham · Elias Issa · Kohitij Kar · Pouya Bashivan · Jonathan Prescott-Roy · Kailyn Schmidt · Aran Nayebi · Daniel Bear · Daniel Yamins · James J DiCarlo

Thu Dec 12th 10:05 -- 10:20 AM @ West Exhibition Hall C + B3

Deep convolutional artificial neural networks (ANNs) are the leading class of candidate models of the mechanisms of visual processing in the primate ventral stream. While initially inspired by brain anatomy, over the past years, these ANNs have evolved from a simple eight-layer architecture in AlexNet to extremely deep and branching architectures, demonstrating increasingly better object categorization performance, yet bringing into question how brain-like they still are. In particular, typical deep models from the machine learning community are often hard to map onto the brain's anatomy due to their vast number of layers and missing biologically-important connections, such as recurrence. Here we demonstrate that better anatomical alignment to the brain and high performance on machine learning as well as neuroscience measures do not have to be in contradiction. We developed CORnet-S, a shallow ANN with four anatomically mapped areas and recurrent connectivity, guided by Brain-Score, a new large-scale composite of neural and behavioral benchmarks for quantifying the functional fidelity of models of the primate ventral visual stream. Despite being significantly shallower than most models, CORnet-S is the top model on Brain-Score and outperforms similarly compact models on ImageNet. Moreover, our extensive analyses of CORnet-S circuitry variants reveal that recurrence is the main predictive factor of both Brain-Score and ImageNet top-1 performance. Finally, we report that the temporal evolution of the CORnet-S "IT" neural population resembles the actual monkey IT population dynamics. Taken together, these results establish CORnet-S, a compact, recurrent ANN, as the current best model of the primate ventral visual stream.

Author Information

Jonas Kubilius (MIT, KU Leuven, Three Thirds)
Martin Schrimpf (MIT)
Ha Hong (Bay Labs Inc.)
Najib Majaj (NYU)
Rishi Rajalingham (MIT)
Elias Issa (Columbia University)
Kohitij Kar (MIT)
Pouya Bashivan (MIT)
Jonathan Prescott-Roy (MIT)
Kailyn Schmidt (MIT)
Aran Nayebi (Stanford University)
Daniel Bear (Stanford University)
Daniel Yamins (Stanford University)
James J DiCarlo (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Prof. DiCarlo received his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and his M.D. from Johns Hopkins in 1998, and did his postdoctoral training in primate visual neurophysiology at Baylor College of Medicine. He joined the MIT faculty in 2002. He is a Sloan Fellow, a Pew Scholar, and a McKnight Scholar. His lab’s research goal is a computational understanding of the brain mechanisms that underlie object recognition. They use large-scale neurophysiology, brain imaging, optogenetic methods, and high-throughput computational simulations to understand how the primate ventral visual stream is able to untangle object identity from other latent image variables such as object position, scale, and pose. They have shown that populations of neurons at the highest cortical visual processing stage (IT) rapidly convey explicit representations of object identity, and that this ability is reshaped by natural visual experience. They have also shown how visual recognition tests can be used to discover new, high-performing bio-inspired algorithms. This understanding may inspire new machine vision systems, new neural prosthetics, and a foundation for understanding how high-level visual representation is altered in conditions such as agnosia, autism and dyslexia.

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