Computational Maps in the Visual Cortex
is a recent book by Miikkulainen, Bednar, Choe, and Sirosh, published by Springer in 2005. Here is the website for the book
, which includes the table of contents, sample chapter, figures, references, demos, presentations, and software. Here is also the
for the book.
From the back cover:
For more than 30 years, the visual cortex has been the source of new
computational ideas about how the brain processes information. The
visual cortex is easily accessible through a variety of recording and
imaging techniques and allows mapping high-level behavior directly to
neural mechanisms. Understanding the computations in the visual cortex
is therefore an important step toward a general computational theory
of the brain.
From the preface, by Christoph von der Malsburg:
"Computational Maps in the Visual Cortex is highly relevant to the
goal of understanding organization. It summarises and integrates an
important body of work, accumulated over decades, aimed at
describing and understanding the organization of the vertebrate
visual system. The riddle of how less than 10^9 bits of genetic
information are able to determine the arrangement of 10^14 synaptic
connections in ontogenesis is resolved by the demonstration that a
relatively simple, genetically determined and controlled repertoire
of cellular behavior is sufficient to understand the ontogenesis of
regular connection patterns. The book employs the tool of computer
simulation to show the validity of the principles that have emerged,
to teach them, to develop them further and prepare them for
application to novel cases.
It is my impression that the time is ripe for a major attack on the
general problem of organization. Molecular biology and information
technology are both hitting a serious complexity barrier. This can
only be overcome by a shift of attention from the details of large
systems to their organizing principles. Science can only conquer
this domain with the help of insight gained on paradigmatic cases.
The organization of visual cortex in perinatal ontogenesis may prove
decisive in this role."
Computational Maps in the Visual Cortex presents a unified
computational approach to understanding the structure, development,
and function of the visual cortex. It reviews the current theories of
the visual cortex and the biological data on which they are based, and
presents a detailed analysis of the laterally connected
self-organizing map model and results obtained to date. Together with
the software package Topographica, it serves as a comprehensive
foundation for future research in computational neuroscience of the
Risto Miikkulainen is a Professor at the Department of Computer
Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin; James A. Bednar is a
Lecturer at the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh,
Yoonsuck Choe is an Assistant Professor at the Computer Science
Department at Texas A&M University, and Joseph Sirosh is Vice
President for Advanced Technology at Fair Isaac, Inc.
The computational models discussed in this book were built using Topographica, a general simulator for computational modeling of cortical maps, and intended to serve as a common software tool for the general research community.