Aug 16, 2006

Iterative cooperation between parallel pathways for object and background motion

Biological cybernetics
Alireza S Mahani, Ralf Wessel


In a typical visual scene, one or more objects move relative to a larger background, which can itself be in motion as a result of the observer's eyes moving with respect to the outside world. Here we show that accurate estimation of the background motion from an image velocity field can be accomplished through an iterative cooperation between two modules: one that specializes in calculating a weighted average velocity and another one calculating a velocity contrast map. We build on our analysis to provide a model for the tectum-pretectum loop in the nonmammalian midbrain. Our model accounts for some of the known properties of the tectal neurons (sensitivity to relative motion) and pretectal neurons (sensitivity to whole-field motion). It also agrees with our knowledge of the pretectotectal projection (divergent and inhibitory), and with the results of lesion studies in which the pretectal input to the tectum was removed, leading to hyperactivity of the tectal neurons and the animal. Our model also makes a testable prediction regarding the tectopretectal projection, i.e., that the presence of a larger object and a bigger discrepancy between the directions of motion for the object and the background lead to a larger error by the ...Continue Reading

  • References18
  • Citations1

Mentioned in this Paper

Optic Tract Structure
Biochemical Pathway
Pattern Recognition, Visual
Entire Midbrain
Pretectal Region
Visual Fields
Neural Network Simulation
Motion Perception
Midbrain Structure

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