Cells in the visual cortex are selective not only to ocular dominance and orientation of the input, but also to its size and spatial frequency. The simulations reported in this paper show how size selectivity could develop through Hebbian self-organization, and how receptive fields of different sizes could organize into columns like those for orientation and ocular dominance. The lateral connections in the network self-organize cooperatively and simultaneously with the receptive field sizes, and produce patterns of lateral connectivity that closely follow the receptive field organization. Together with our previous work on ocular dominance and orientation selectivity, these results suggest that a single Hebbian self-organizing process can give rise to all the major receptive field properties in the visual cortex, and also to structured patterns of lateral interactions, some of which have been verified experimentally and others predicted by the model. The model also suggests a functional role for the self-organized structures: The afferent receptive fields develop a sparse coding of the visual input, and the recurrent lateral interactions eliminate redundancies in cortical activity patterns, allowing the cortex to efficiently process massive amounts of visual information.
Neural Processing Letters, Vol. 3 (1996), pp. 39-48.

Risto Miikkulainen Faculty risto [at] cs utexas edu
Joseph Sirosh Ph.D. Alumni joseph sirosh [at] gmail com