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A rotation-equivariant convolutional neural network model of primary visual cortex

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Classical models describe primary visual cortex (V1) as a filter bank of orientation-selective linear-nonlinear (LN) or energy models, but these models fail to predict neural responses to natural stimuli accurately. Recent work shows that models based on convolutional neural networks (CNNs) lead to much more accurate predictions, but it remains unclear which features are extracted by V1 neurons beyond orientation selectivity and phase invariance. Here we work towards systematically studying V1 computations by categorizing neurons into groups that perform similar computations. We present a framework to identify common features independent of individual neurons' orientation selectivity by using a rotation-equivariant convolutional neural network, which automatically extracts every feature at multiple different orientations. We fit this model to responses of a population of 6000 neurons to natural images recorded in mouse primary visual cortex using two-photon imaging. We show that our rotation-equivariant network not only outperforms a regular CNN with the same number of feature maps, but also reveals a number of common features shared by many V1 neurons, which deviate from the typical textbook idea of V1 as a bank of Gabor filters. Our findings are a first step towards a powerful new tool to study the nonlinear computations in V1.


Recurrent Cortical Amplification Produces Complex Cell Responses

Neural Information Processing Systems

Cortical amplification has been proposed as a mechanism for enhancing the selectivity of neurons in the primary visual cortex. Less appreciated is the fact that the same form of amplification can also be used to de-tune or broaden selectivity. Using a network model with recurrent cortical circuitry, we propose that the spatial phase invariance of complex cell responses arises through recurrent amplification of feedforward input.


Recurrent Cortical Amplification Produces Complex Cell Responses

Neural Information Processing Systems

Cortical amplification has been proposed as a mechanism for enhancing the selectivity of neurons in the primary visual cortex. Less appreciated is the fact that the same form of amplification can also be used to de-tune or broaden selectivity. Using a network model with recurrent cortical circuitry, we propose that the spatial phase invariance of complex cell responses arises through recurrent amplification of feedforward input.


Learning Features and their Transformations by Spatial and Temporal Spherical Clustering

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Learning features invariant to arbitrary transformations in the data is a requirement for any recognition system, biological or artificial. It is now widely accepted that simple cells in the primary visual cortex respond to features while the complex cells respond to features invariant to different transformations. We present a novel two-layered feedforward neural model that learns features in the first layer by spatial spherical clustering and invariance to transformations in the second layer by temporal spherical clustering. Learning occurs in an online and unsupervised manner following the Hebbian rule. When exposed to natural videos acquired by a camera mounted on a cat's head, the first and second layer neurons in our model develop simple and complex cell-like receptive field properties. The model can predict by learning lateral connections among the first layer neurons. A topographic map to their spatial features emerges by exponentially decaying the flow of activation with distance from one neuron to another in the first layer that fire in close temporal proximity, thereby minimizing the pooling length in an online manner simultaneously with feature learning.


Recurrent Cortical Amplification Produces Complex Cell Responses

Neural Information Processing Systems

Cortical amplification has been proposed as a mechanism for enhancing the selectivity of neurons in the primary visual cortex. Less appreciated is the fact that the same form of amplification can also be used to de-tune or broaden selectivity. Using a network model with recurrent cortical circuitry, we propose that the spatial phase invariance of complex cell responses arises through recurrent amplification of feedforward input.