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Oral Session

Oral 3A Neuro

Hall C2 (level 1 gate 9 south of food court)
Wed 13 Dec 8 a.m. PST — 8:45 a.m. PST


Wed 13 Dec. 8:00 - 8:15 PST

Brain Diffusion for Visual Exploration: Cortical Discovery using Large Scale Generative Models

Andrew Luo · Maggie Henderson · Leila Wehbe · Michael Tarr

A long standing goal in neuroscience has been to elucidate the functional organization of the brain. Within higher visual cortex, functional accounts have remained relatively coarse, focusing on regions of interest (ROIs) and taking the form of selectivity for broad categories such as faces, places, bodies, food, or words. Because the identification of such ROIs has typically relied on manually assembled stimulus sets consisting of isolated objects in non-ecological contexts, exploring functional organization without robust a priori hypotheses has been challenging. To overcome these limitations, we introduce a data-driven approach in which we synthesize images predicted to activate a given brain region using paired natural images and fMRI recordings, bypassing the need for category-specific stimuli. Our approach -- Brain Diffusion for Visual Exploration ("BrainDiVE") -- builds on recent generative methods by combining large-scale diffusion models with brain-guided image synthesis. Validating our method, we demonstrate the ability to synthesize preferred images with appropriate semantic specificity for well-characterized category-selective ROIs. We then show that BrainDiVE can characterize differences between ROIs selective for the same high-level category. Finally we identify novel functional subdivisions within these ROIs, validated with behavioral data. These results advance our understanding of the fine-grained functional organization of human visual cortex, and provide well-specified constraints for further examination of cortical organization using hypothesis-driven methods.

Wed 13 Dec. 8:15 - 8:30 PST

Cinematic Mindscapes: High-quality Video Reconstruction from Brain Activity

Zijiao Chen · Jiaxin Qing · Juan Helen Zhou

Reconstructing human vision from brain activities has been an appealing task that helps to understand our cognitive process. Even though recent research has seen great success in reconstructing static images from non-invasive brain recordings, work on recovering continuous visual experiences in the form of videos is limited. In this work, we propose Mind-Video that learns spatiotemporal information from continuous fMRI data of the cerebral cortex progressively through masked brain modeling, multimodal contrastive learning with spatiotemporal attention, and co-training with an augmented Stable Diffusion model that incorporates network temporal inflation. We show that high-quality videos of arbitrary frame rates can be reconstructed with Mind-Video using adversarial guidance. The recovered videos were evaluated with various semantic and pixel-level metrics. We achieved an average accuracy of 85% in semantic classification tasks and 0.19 in structural similarity index (SSIM), outperforming the previous state-of-the-art by 45%. We also show that our model is biologically plausible and interpretable, reflecting established physiological processes.

Wed 13 Dec. 8:30 - 8:45 PST

Human-like Few-Shot Learning via Bayesian Reasoning over Natural Language

Kevin Ellis

A core tension in models of concept learning is that the model must carefully balance the tractability of inference against the expressivity of the hypothesis class. Humans, however, can efficiently learn a broad range of concepts. We introduce a model of inductive learning that seeks to be human-like in that sense.It implements a Bayesian reasoning process where a language model first proposes candidate hypotheses expressed in natural language, which are then re-weighed by a prior and a likelihood.By estimating the prior from human data, we can predict human judgments on learning problems involving numbers and sets, spanning concepts that are generative, discriminative, propositional, and higher-order.