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Journal Articles PLoS Computational Biology Year : 2009

Hyperbolic planforms in relation to visual edges and textures perception

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Olivier Faugeras


We propose to use bifurcation theory and pattern formation as theoretical probes for various hypotheses about the neural organization of the brain. This allows us to make predictions about the kinds of patterns that should be observed in the activity of real brains through, e.g., optical imaging, and opens the door to the design of experiments to test these hypotheses. We study the specific problem of visual edges and textures perception and suggest that these features may be represented at the population level in the visual cortex as a specific second-order tensor, the structure tensor, perhaps within a hypercolumn. We then extend the classical ring model to this case and show that its natural framework is the non- Euclidean hyperbolic geometry. This brings in the beautiful structure of its group of isometries and certain of its subgroups which have a direct interpretation in terms of the organization of the neural populations that are assumed to encode the structure tensor. By studying the bifurcations of the solutions of the structure tensor equations, the analog of the classical Wilson and Cowan equations, under the assumption of invariance with respect to the action of these subgroups, we predict the appearance of characteristic patterns. These patterns can be described by what we call hyperbolic or H-planforms that are reminiscent of Euclidean planar waves and of the planforms that were used in previous work to account for some visual hallucinations. If these patterns could be observed through brain imaging techniques they would reveal the built-in or acquired invariance of the neural organization to the action of the corresponding subgroups.
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hal-00807344 , version 1 (03-04-2013)



Pascal Chossat, Olivier Faugeras. Hyperbolic planforms in relation to visual edges and textures perception. PLoS Computational Biology, 2009, 5 (12), pp.e1000625. ⟨10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000625⟩. ⟨hal-00807344⟩
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