On the development of feature detectors in the visual cortex with applications to learning and reaction-diffusion systems

Author(s): Grossberg, S. |

Year: 1975

Citation: Biological Cybernetics, 21, 145-159

Abstract: Developmental mechanisms for tuning of visual cortex are derived from adult learning mechanisms: an adaptational property of shunting on-center off-surround networks that prevents saturation of parallel processed patterns at high input intensities, a contrast enhancement and short-term memory mechanism, and plastic synaptic strengths that compute a time average of presynaptic signals and postsynaptic activities and multiplicatively gate signals. The mechanisms can generate fields of feature detectors; e.g., line or picture detectors. A developing hierarchy of such fields can be synthesized in which successive critical developmental periods are triggered as a dynamic equilibrium is established between shortterm memory and long-term memory at each stage. Shunting adaptation can account for some data on spatial frequency adaptation. Shunting network properties resemble properties of certain reaction-diffusion systems that have been used to model developmental data in various species; e.g., Hydra, Xenopus retina, slime molds. For example, positional information due to regulation in reaction-diffusion systems is analogous to constancies due to network adaptation, firing of a developmental gradient is analogous to contrast enhancement, and maintenance of a pattern of morphogens is analogous to short-term memory.

Topics: Biological Vision, Models: Other,

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