Lateral connections in the primary visual cortex (V1) have long been hypothesized to be responsible for several visual processing mechanisms such as brightness induction, chromatic induction, visual discomfort, and bottom-up visual attention (also named saliency). Many computational models have been developed to independently predict these and other visual processes, but no computational model has been able to reproduce all of them simultaneously. In this work, we show that a biologically plausible computational model of lateral interactions of V1 is able to simultaneously predict saliency and all the aforementioned visual processes. Our model's architecture (NSWAM) is based on Penacchio's neurodynamic model of lateral connections of V1. It is defined as a network of firing rate neurons, sensitive to visual features such as brightness, color, orientation, and scale. We tested NSWAM saliency predictions using images from several eye tracking data sets. We show that the accuracy of predictions obtained by our architecture, using shuffled metrics, is similar to other state-of-the-art computational methods, particularly with synthetic images (CAT2000-Pattern and SID4VAM) that mainly contain low-level features. Moreover, we outperform other biologically inspired saliency models that are specifically designed to exclusively reproduce saliency. We show that our biologically plausible model of lateral connections can simultaneously explain different visual processes present in V1 (without applying any type of training or optimization and keeping the same parameterization for all the visual processes). This can be useful for the definition of a unified architecture of the primary visual cortex.

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