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Feedback Enhances Feedforward Figure-Ground Segmentation by Changing Firing Mode

By Hans Supèr and August Romeo


In the visual cortex, feedback projections are conjectured to be crucial in figure-ground segregation. However, the precise function of feedback herein is unclear. Here we tested a hypothetical model of reentrant feedback. We used a previous developed 2-layered feedforwardspiking network that is able to segregate figure from ground and included feedback connections. Our computer model data show that without feedback, neurons respond with regular low-frequency (∼9 Hz) bursting to a figure-ground stimulus. After including feedback the firing pattern changed into a regular (tonic) spiking pattern. In this state, we found an extra enhancement of figure responses and a further suppression of background responses resulting in a stronger figure-ground signal. Such push-pull effect was confirmed by comparing the figure-ground responses withthe responses to a homogenous texture. We propose that feedback controlsfigure-ground segregation by influencing the neural firing patterns of feedforward projecting neurons

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: Public Library of Science
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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