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Visual illusions via neural dynamics: Wilson-Cowan-type models and the efficient representation principle

Abstract : We reproduce suprathreshold perception phenomena, specifically visual illusions, by Wilson–Cowan (WC)-type models of neuronal dynamics. Our findings show that the ability to replicate the illusions considered is related to how well the neural activity equations comply with the efficient representation principle. Our first contribution consists in showing that the WC equations can reproduce a number of brightness and orientation-dependent illusions. Then we formally prove that there cannot be an energy functional that the WC dynamics are minimizing. This leads us to consider an alternative, variational modeling, which has been previously employed for local histogram equalization (LHE) tasks. To adapt our model to the architecture of V1, we perform an extension that has an explicit dependence on local image orientation. Finally, we report several numerical experiments showing that LHE provides a better reproduction of visual illusions than the original WC formulation, and that its cortical extension is capable also to reproduce complex orientation-dependent illusions.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02199928
Contributor : Dario Prandi <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, July 31, 2019 - 10:11:31 AM
Last modification on : Monday, November 16, 2020 - 3:26:09 PM

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Marcelo Bertalmio, Luca Calatroni, Valentina Franceschi, Benedetta Franceschiello, Alexander Gomez-Villa, et al.. Visual illusions via neural dynamics: Wilson-Cowan-type models and the efficient representation principle. Journal of Neurophysiology, American Physiological Society, 2020, 123 (5), pp.1606-1618. ⟨10.1152/jn.00488.2019⟩. ⟨hal-02199928⟩

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