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Neural Netw. 2018 Sep;105:218-226. doi: 10.1016/j.neunet.2018.04.019. Epub 2018 May 16.

Efficient coding matters in the organization of the early visual system.

Author information

1
Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100190, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China. Electronic address: qingqun.kong@ia.ac.cn.
2
Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100190, China; Department of Neural Engineering and Biological Interdisciplinary Studies, Institute of Military Cognition and Brain Sciences, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing, 100850, China.
3
Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100190, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China; Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 200031, China; National Laboratory of Pattern Recognition, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100190, China. Electronic address: yi.zeng@ia.ac.cn.
4
Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100190, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China; Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 200031, China.

Abstract

Individual areas in the brain are organized into a hierarchical network as a result of evolution. Previous work indicated that the receptive fields (RFs) of individual areas have been evolved to favor metabolically efficient neural codes. In this paper, we propose that not only the RFs of individual areas, but also the organization of adjacent neurons and the hierarchical structure composed of these areas have been evolved to support efficient coding. To verify this hypothesis, we introduce a feed-forward three-layer network to simulate the early stages of human visual system. We emphasize that the network is not a purely feed-forward one since it also includes intra-layer connections, which are essential but usually ignored in the literature. Simulation results strongly reveal that (1) the obtained RFs of the simulated retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) or neurons in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) and V1 simple neurons are consistent to the neurophysiological data; (2) the responses of closer RGCs are more correlated, and V1 simple neurons with similar orientations prefer to cluster together; (3) the hierarchical organization of the early visual system is beneficial for saving energy, which accords with the requirement of metabolically efficient neural coding in the process of human brain evolution.

KEYWORDS:

Brain-inspired neural networks; Early visual stages; Efficient coding; Hierarchical structure

PMID:
29870929
DOI:
10.1016/j.neunet.2018.04.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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