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Seeing a straight line on a curved surface: decoupling of patterns from surfaces by single IT neurons

Murty, Apurva Ratan N and Arun, SP (2017) Seeing a straight line on a curved surface: decoupling of patterns from surfaces by single IT neurons. In: JOURNAL OF NEUROPHYSIOLOGY, 117 (1). pp. 104-116.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/jn.00551.2016


We have no difficulty seeing a straight line drawn on a paper even when the paper is bent, but this inference is in fact nontrivial. Doing so requires either matching local features or representing the pattern after factoring out the surface shape. Here we show that single neurons in the monkey inferior temporal (IT) cortex show invariant responses to patterns across rigid and nonrigid changes of surfaces. We recorded neuronal responses to stimuli in which the pattern and the surrounding surface were varied independently. In a subset of neurons, we found pattern-surface interactions that produced similar responses to stimuli across congruent pattern and surface transformations. These interactions produced systematic shifts in curvature tuning of patterns when overlaid on convex and flat surfaces. Our results show that surfaces are factored out of patterns by single neurons, thereby enabling complex perceptual inferences. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We have no difficulty seeing a straight line on a curved piece of paper, but in fact, doing so requires decoupling the shape of the surface from the pattern itself. Here we report a novel form of invariance in the visual cortex: single neurons in monkey inferior temporal cortex respond similarly to congruent transformations of patterns and surfaces, in effect decoupling patterns from the surface on which they are overlaid.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the AMER PHYSIOLOGICAL SOC, 9650 ROCKVILLE PIKE, BETHESDA, MD 20814 USA
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Neuroscience
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2017 04:49
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2019 10:40
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/56453

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