Unsupervised changes in core object recognition behavior are predicted by neural plasticity in inferior temporal cortex

Xiaoxuan Jia, Ha Hong, Jim DiCarlo
2021 eLife  
Temporal continuity of object identity is a feature of natural visual input, and is potentially exploited -- in an unsupervised manner -- by the ventral visual stream to build the neural representation in inferior temporal (IT) cortex. Here we investigated whether plasticity of individual IT neurons underlies human core-object-recognition behavioral changes induced with unsupervised visual experience. We built a single-neuron plasticity model combined with a previously established IT
more » ... ished IT population-to-recognition-behavior linking model to predict human learning effects. We found that our model, after constrained by neurophysiological data, largely predicted the mean direction, magnitude and time course of human performance changes. We also found a previously unreported dependency of the observed human performance change on the initial task difficulty. This result adds support to the hypothesis that tolerant core object recognition in human and non-human primates is instructed -- at least in part -- by naturally occurring unsupervised temporal contiguity experience.
doi:10.7554/elife.60830 pmid:34114566 pmcid:PMC8324291 fatcat:lvvxyetnrrclhfw7epp3yuvsom