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Article
Nature Neuroscience  2, 79 - 87 (1999)
doi:10.1038/4580

Predictive coding in the visual cortex: a functional interpretation of some extra-classical receptive-field effects

Rajesh P. N. Rao1 & Dana H. Ballard2

1  The Salk Institute, Sloan Center for Theoretical Neurobiology and Computational Neurobiology Laboratory, 10010 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037, USA

2  Department of Computer Science, University of Rochester , Rochester, New York 14627-0226, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Rajesh P. N. Rao rao@salk.edu
We describe a model of visual processing in which feedback connections from a higher- to a lower-order visual cortical area carry predictions of lower-level neural activities, whereas the feedforward connections carry the residual errors between the predictions and the actual lower-level activities. When exposed to natural images, a hierarchical network of model neurons implementing such a model developed simple-cell-like receptive fields. A subset of neurons responsible for carrying the residual errors showed endstopping and other extra-classical receptive-field effects. These results suggest that rather than being exclusively feedforward phenomena, nonclassical surround effects in the visual cortex may also result from cortico-cortical feedback as a consequence of the visual system using an efficient hierarchical strategy for encoding natural images.

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Nature Neuroscience
ISSN: 1097-6256
EISSN: 1546-1726
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