Biological Cybernetics

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 1–18 | Cite as

A theory for the development of feature detecting cells in visual cortex

  • Menasche M. Nass
  • Leon N. Cooper
Article

Abstract

Passive modification of the strength of synaptic junctions that results in the construction of internal mappings with some of the properties of memory is shown to lead to the development of Hubel-Wiesel type feature detectors in visual cortex. With such synaptic modification a cortical cell can become committed to an arbitrary but repeated external pattern, and thus fire every time the pattern is presented even if that cell has no genetic pre-disposition to respond to the particular pattern. The additional assumption of lateral inhibition between cortical cells severely limits the number of cells which respond to one pattern as well as the number of patterns that are picked up by a cell. The introduction of a simple neural mapping from the visual field to the lateral geniculate leads to an interaction between patterns which, combined with our assumptions above, seems to lead to a progression of patterns from column to column of the type observed by Hubel and Wiesel in monkey.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Menasche M. Nass
    • 1
  • Leon N. Cooper
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physics and Center for Neural StudiesBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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