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Neurons in successive stages of the primate ventral visual pathway encode the spatial structure of visual objects. In this paper, we investigate through computer simulation how these cell firing properties may develop through unsupervised visually-guided learning. Individual neurons in the model are shown to exploit statistical regularity and temporal continuity of the visual inputs during training to learn firing properties that are similar to neurons in V4 and TEO. Neurons in V4 encode the conformation of boundary contour elements at a particular position within an object regardless of the location of the object on the retina, while neurons in TEO integrate information from multiple boundary contour elements. This representation goes beyond mere object recognition, in which neurons simply respond to the presence of a whole object, but provides an essential foundation from which the brain is subsequently able to recognize the whole object.

Original publication




Journal article


Front Comput Neurosci

Publication Date





TEO, V4, hierarchical networks, neural network, shape representation, trace learning, ventral visual pathway