Statistical-mechanical analysis of self-organization and pattern formation during the development of visual maps

K. Obermayer, G. G. Blasdel, K. Schulten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We report a detailed analytical and numerical model study of pattern formation during the development of visual maps, namely, the formation of topographic maps and orientation and ocular dominance columns in the striate cortex. Pattern formation is described by a stimulus-driven Markovian process, the self-organizing feature map. This algorithm generates topologically correct maps between a space of (visual) input signals and an array of formal neurons, which in our model represents the cortex. We define order parameters that are a function of the set of visual stimuli an animal perceives, and we demonstrate that the formation of orientation and ocular dominance columns is the result of a global instability of the retinoptic projection above a critical value of these order parameters. We characterize the spatial structure of the emerging patterns by power spectra, correlation functions, and Gabor transforms, and we compare model predictions with experimental data obtained from the striate cortex of the macaque monkey with optical imaging. Above the critical value of the order parameters the model predicts a lateral segregation of the striate cortex into (i) binocular regions with linear changes in orientation preference, where iso-orientation slabs run perpendicular to the ocular dominance bands, and (ii) monocular regions with low orientation specificity, which contain the singularities of the orientation map. Some of these predictions have already been verified by experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7568-7589
Number of pages22
JournalPhysical Review A
Volume45
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Statistical-mechanical analysis of self-organization and pattern formation during the development of visual maps'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this