Research could pave way for enhanced computer vision systems, MIT study suggests
THURSDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers say you really can't believe your eyes.
A team of neuroscientists publishing in the Sept. 12 issue of Science said they have tricked the brain into confusing one object the eyes see with another, proving that it takes time for humans to learn to recognize objects.
People never really see the same image twice, the team said. The retina receives innumerable impressions of the same image, depending on the direction of gaze, angle of view, distance and so forth. While neural activity changes as the eyes move, the perception of the image remains stable.
"This stability, which is called invariance, is fundamental to our ability to recognize objects but it is a central challenge for computational neuroscience," senior author James DiCarlo, of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, said in a university news release. "We want to understand how our brains acquire invariance and how we might incorporate it into computer vision systems."
The authors believe the fact that our eyes often move rapidly (about three times per second), while physical objects usually change more slowly, results in "temporal contiguity," in which these differing patterns of activity in rapid succession reflect different images of the same object.
In the study, the team created an altered visual world for test monkeys. An object would appear in the monkeys' peripheral vision, but as their eyes moved to examine it, a different object would replace the original one. This change, which is not perceived by the monkeys, causes them to confuse the two objects. During this, the researchers recorded the activity of neurons in the monkey's inferior temporal (IT) cortex, a high-level visual brain area. IT neurons "prefer" certain objects and respond to
All rights reserved