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A border-ownership model based on computational electromagnetism.

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A border-ownership model based on computational electromagnetism.

Neural Netw. 2018 Mar;99:114-122

Authors: Zainal ZA, Satoh S

Abstract
The mathematical relation between a vector electric field and its corresponding scalar potential field is useful to formulate computational problems of lower/middle-order visual processing, specifically related to the assignment of borders to the side of the object: so-called border ownership (BO). BO coding is a key process for extracting the objects from the background, allowing one to organize a cluttered scene. We propose that the problem is solvable simultaneously by application of a theorem of electromagnetism, i.e., “conservative vector fields have zero rotation, or “curl.” We hypothesize that (i) the BO signal is definable as a vector electric field with arrowheads pointing to the inner side of perceived objects, and (ii) its corresponding scalar field carries information related to perceived order in depth of occluding/occluded objects. A simple model was developed based on this computational theory. Model results qualitatively agree with object-side selectivity of BO-coding neurons, and with perceptions of object order. The model update rule can be reproduced as a plausible neural network that presents new interpretations of existing physiological results. Results of this study also suggest that T-junction detectors are unnecessary to calculate depth order.

PMID: 29414533 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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