Papers Vision


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[edit] Vision Papers

    Posted by: YOU today

Barton L. Anderson, Juno Kim
    A fundamental problem in image analysis is to understand the nature of the computations and mechanisms that provide information about the material properties of surfaces. Information about a surface's 3D shape, optics, illumination field, and atmospheric conditions are conflated in the image, which must somehow be disentangled to derive the properties of surfaces. It was recently suggested that the visual system exploits some simple image statistics—histogram or sub-band skew—to infer the lightness and gloss of surfaces (I. Motoyoshi, S. Nishida, L. Sharan, & E. H. Adelson, 2007). Here, we show that the correlations Motoyoshi et al. (2007) observed between skew, lightness, and gloss only arose because of the limited space of surface geometries, reflectance properties, and illumination fields they evaluated. We argue that the lightness effects they reported were a statistical artifact of equating the means of images with skewed histograms, and that the perception of gloss requires an analysis of the consistency between the estimate of a surface's 3D shape and the positions and orientations of highlights on a surface. We argue that the derivation of surface and material properties requires a photo-geometric analysis, and that purely photometric statistics such as skew fail to capture any diagnostic information about surfaces because they are devoid of the structural information needed to distinguish different types of surface attributes.
    Posted by: JW 11/12/2009
Katherine Mancuso, William W. Hauswirth, Qiuhong Li, Thomas B. Connor, James A. Kuchenbecker, Matthew C. Mauck, Jay Neitz & Maureen Neitz
Nature advance online publication 16 September 2009 | doi:10.1038/nature08401
Department of Ophthalmology, Box 356485, University of Washington, 1959 North East Pacific Street, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA
    Red–green colour blindness, which results from the absence of either the long- (L) or the middle- (M) wavelength-sensitive visual photopigments, is the most common single locus genetic disorder. Here we explore the possibility of curing colour blindness using gene therapy in experiments on adult monkeys that had been colour blind since birth. A third type of cone pigment was added to dichromatic retinas, providing the receptoral basis for trichromatic colour vision. This opened a new avenue to explore the requirements for establishing the neural circuits for a new dimension of colour sensation. Classic visual deprivation experiments1 have led to the expectation that neural connections established during development would not appropriately process an input that was not present from birth. Therefore, it was believed that the treatment of congenital vision disorders would be ineffective unless administered to the very young. However, here we show that the addition of a third opsin in adult red–green colour-deficient primates was sufficient to produce trichromatic colour vision behaviour. Thus, trichromacy can arise from a single addition of a third cone class and it does not require an early developmental process. This provides a positive outlook for the potential of gene therapy to cure adult vision disorders.
    Posted by: RAS 9/17/2009
Ruey-Song Huang and Marty Sereno
NeuroImage, 34, October 11 2006 doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2006.10.024
Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA 92037-1099, USA; Department of Psychology and Center for Neural Science, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA
    Somatotopic mapping of human body surface using fMRI is challenging. First, it is difficult to deliver tactile stimuli in the scanner. Second, multiple stimulators are often required to cover enough area of the complex-shaped body surface, such as the face. In this study, a computer-controlled pneumatic system was constructed to automatically deliver air puffs to 12 locations on the body surface through an MR-compatible manifold (Dodecapus) mounted on a head coil inside the scanner bore. The timing of each air-puff channel is completely programmable and this allows systematic and precise stimulation on multiple locations on the body surface during functional scans. Three two-condition block-design “Localizer” paradigms were employed to localize the cortical representations of the face, lips, and fingers, respectively. Three “Phase-encoded” paradigms were employed to map the detailed somatotopic organizations of the face, lips, and fingers following each “Localizer” paradigm. Multiple somatotopic representations of the face, lips, and fingers were localized and mapped in primary motor cortex (MI), ventral premotor cortex (PMv), polysensory zone (PZ), primary (SI) and secondary (SII) somatosensory cortex, parietal ventral area (PV) and 7b, as well as anterior and ventral intraparietal areas (AIP and VIP). The Dodecapus system is portable, easy to setup, generates no radio frequency interference, and can also be used for EEG and MEG experiments. This system could be useful for non-invasive somatotopic mapping in both basic and clinical studies.
    Posted by: RAS 8/13/2009 (Thought it might be fun)
John Reynolds and David Heeger
Neuron, 61, January 29, 2009
Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA 92037-1099, USA; Department of Psychology and Center for Neural Science, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA
    Attention has been found to have a wide variety of effects on the responses of neurons in visual cortex. We describe a model of attention that exhibits each of these different forms of attentional modulation, depending on the stimulus conditions and the spread (or selectivity) of the attention field in the model. The model helps reconcile proposals that have been taken to represent alternative theories of attention. We argue that the variety and complexity of the results reported in the literature emerge from the variety of empirical protocols that were used, such that the results observed in any one experiment depended on the stimulus conditions and the subject’s attentional strategy, a notion that we define precisely in terms of the attention field in the model, but that has not typically been completely under experimental control.
    Posted by: RAS 5/13/2009
Roozbeh Kiani and Michael N. Shadlen
Science, Vol. 324. no. 5928, pp. 759 - 764, 08 May 2009
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Primate Research Center, and Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
    The degree of confidence in a decision provides a graded and probabilistic assessment of expected outcome. Although neural mechanisms of perceptual decisions have been studied extensively in primates, little is known about the mechanisms underlying choice certainty. We have shown that the same neurons that represent formation of a decision encode certainty about the decision. Rhesus monkeys made decisions about the direction of moving random dots, spanning a range of difficulties. They were rewarded for correct decisions. On some trials, after viewing the stimulus, the monkeys could opt out of the direction decision for a small but certain reward. Monkeys exercised this option in a manner that revealed their degree of certainty. Neurons in parietal cortex represented formation of the direction decision and the degree of certainty underlying the decision to opt out.
    Posted by: RAS 5/13/2009

Stephenie A. Harrison & Frank Tong
Nature February 2009
Psychology Department and Vanderbilt Vision Research Center, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37240, USA
    Visual working memory provides an essential link between perception and higher cognitive functions, allowing for the active maintenance of information about stimuli no longer in view1, 2. Research suggests that sustained activity in higher-order prefrontal, parietal, inferotemporal and lateral occipital areas supports visual maintenance and may account for the limited capacity of working memory to hold up to 3–4 items. Because higher-order areas lack the visual selectivity of early sensory areas, it has remained unclear how observers can remember specific visual features, such as the precise orientation of a grating, with minimal decay in performance over delays of many seconds12. One proposal is that sensory areas serve to maintain fine-tuned feature information13, but early visual areas show little to no sustained activity over prolonged delays. Here we show that orientations held in working memory can be decoded from activity patterns in the human visual cortex, even when overall levels of activity are low. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging and pattern classification methods, we found that activity patterns in visual areas V1–V4 could predict which of two oriented gratings was held in memory with mean accuracy levels upwards of 80%, even in participants whose activity fell to baseline levels after a prolonged delay. These orientation-selective activity patterns were sustained throughout the delay period, evident in individual visual areas, and similar to the responses evoked by unattended, task-irrelevant gratings. Our results demonstrate that early visual areas can retain specific information about visual features held in working memory, over periods of many seconds when no physical stimulus is present.
    Posted by: JW 3/27/2009

Julie D. Golomb Marvin M. Chun and James A. Mazer
The Journal of Neuroscience, October 15, 2008, 28(42)
    Visual processing can be facilitated by covert attention at behaviorally relevant locations. If the eyes move while a location in the visual field is facilitated, what happens to the internal representation of the attended location? With each eye movement, the retinotopic (eye-centered) coordinates of the attended location change while the spatiotopic (world-centered) coordinates remain stable. To investigate whether the neural substrates of spatial attention reside in retinotopically and/or spatiotopically organized maps, we used a novel gaze-contingent behavioral paradigm that probed spatial attention at various times after eye movements. When task demands required maintaining a spatiotopic representation after the eye movement, we found facilitation at the retinotopic location of the spatial cue for 100–200 ms after the saccade, although this location had no behavioral significance. This task-irrelevant retinotopic representation dominated immediately after the saccade, whereas at later delays, the task-relevant spatiotopic representation prevailed. However, when task demands required maintaining the cue in retinotopic coordinates, a strong retinotopic benefit persisted long after the saccade, and there was no evidence of spatiotopic facilitation. These data suggest that the cortical and subcortical substrates of spatial attention primarily reside in retinotopically organized maps that must be dynamically updated to compensate for eye movements when behavioral demands require a spatiotopic representation of attention. Our conclusion is that the visual system's native or low-level representation of endogenously maintained spatial attention is retinotopic, and remapping of attention to spatiotopic coordinates occurs slowly and only when behaviorally necessary.
    Posted by: RAS 4/1/2009

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