"Increasing evidence supports the hypothesis that the visual system employs a sparse code to represent visual stimuli, where information is encoded in an efficient way by a small population of cells that respond to sensory input at a given time. This includes simple cells in primary visual cortex (V1), which are defined by their linear spatial integration of visual stimuli. Various models of sparse coding have been proposed to explain physiological phenomena observed in simple cells. However, these models have usually made the simplifying assumption that inputs to simple cells already incorporate linear spatial summation. This overlooks the fact that these inputs are known to have strong non-linearities such as the separation of ON and OFF pathways, or separation of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Consequently these models ignore a range of important experimental phenomena that are related to the emergence of linear spatial summation from non-linear inputs, such as segregation of ON and OFF sub-regions of simple cell receptive fields, the push-pull effect of excitation and inhibition, and phase-reversed cortico-thalamic feedback. Here, we demonstrate that a two-layer model of the visual pathway from the lateral geniculate nucleus to V1 that incorporates these biological constraints on the neural circuits and is based on sparse coding can account for the emergence of these experimental phenomena, diverse shapes of receptive fields and contrast invariance of orientation tuning of simple cells when the model is trained on natural images. The model suggests that sparse coding can be implemented by the V1 simple cells using neural circuits with a simple biologically plausible architecture."
Model Type: Connectionist Network
Region(s) or Organism(s): Neocortex
Cell Type(s): Abstract rate-based neuron
Model Concept(s): Hebbian plasticity
Simulation Environment: MATLAB
Implementer(s): Lian, Yanbo [yanbol at student.unimelb.edu.au]
Lian Y, Grayden DB, Kameneva T, Meffin H, Burkitt AN. (2019). Toward a Biologically Plausible Model of LGN-V1 Pathways Based on Efficient Coding Frontiers in Neural Circuits 13