A Novel Artificial Visual System for Motion Direction Detection in Grayscale Images
How specific features of the environment are represented in the mammalian brain is an important unexplained mystery in neuroscience. Visual information is considered to be captured most preferentially by the brain. As one of the visual information elements, motion direction in the receptive field is thought to be collected already at the retinal direction-selective ganglion cell (DSGC) layer. However, knowledge of direction-selective (DS) mechanisms in the retina has remained only at a cellular
... level, and there is a lack of complete direction-sensitivity understanding in the visual system. Previous studies of DS models have been limited to the stage of one-dimensional black-and-white (binary) images or still lack biological rationality. In this paper, we innovatively propose a two-dimensional, eight-directional motion direction detection mechanism for grayscale images called the artificial visual system (AVS). The structure and neuronal functions of this mechanism are highly faithful to neuroscientific perceptions of the mammalian retinal DS pathway, and thus highly biologically reasonable. In particular, by introducing the horizontal contact pathway provided by horizontal cells (HCs) in the retinal inner nuclear layer and forming a functional collaboration with bipolar cells (BCs), the limitation that previous DS models can only recognize object motion directions in binary images is overcome; the proposed model can solve the recognizing problem of object motion directions in grayscale images. Through computer simulation experiments, we verified that AVS is effective and has high detection accuracy, and it is not affected by the shape, size, and location of objects in the receptive field. Its excellent noise immunity was also verified by adding multiple types of noise to the experimental data set. Compared to a classical convolutional neural network (CNN), it was verified that AVS is completely significantly better in terms of effectiveness and noise immunity, and has various advantages such as high interpretability, no need for learning, and easy hardware implementation. In addition, activation characteristics of neurons in AVS are highly consistent with those real in the retinal DS pathway, with strong neurofunctional similarity and brain-like superiority. Moreover, AVS will also provide a novel perspective and approach to understanding and analyzing mechanisms as well as principles of mammalian retinal direction-sensitivity in face of a cognitive bottleneck on the DS pathway that has persisted for nearly 60 years.