Contour Integration and Synchronization in Neuronal Networks of the Visual Cortex

  • Ekkehard Ullner
  • Raúl Vicente
  • Gordon Pipa
  • Jordi García-Ojalvo
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5164)

Abstract

The visual perception of contours by the brain is selective. When embedded within a noisy background, closed contours are detected faster, and with higher certainty, than open contours. We investigate this phenomenon theoretically with the paradigmatic excitable FitzHugh-Nagumo model, by considering a set of locally coupled oscillators subject to local uncorrelated noise. Noise is needed to overcome the excitation threshold and evoke spikes. We model one-dimensional structures and consider the synchronization throughout them as a mechanism for contour perception, for various system sizes and local noise intensities. The model with a closed ring structure shows a significantly higher synchronization than the one with the open structure. Interestingly, the effect is most pronounced for intermediate system sizes and noise intensities.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ekkehard Ullner
    • 1
  • Raúl Vicente
    • 2
    • 3
  • Gordon Pipa
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Jordi García-Ojalvo
    • 1
  1. 1.Departament de Física i Enginyeria NuclearUniversitat Politècnica de CatalunyaTerrassaSpain
  2. 2.Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research Frankfurt/MainGermany
  3. 3.Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies Frankfurt/MainGermany
  4. 4.Dep. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Inst. of Technology, and Dep. of Anesthesia and Critical CareMassachusetts General HospitalCambridgeUSA

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