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The Atoms of Vision: Cartesian or Polar ?

Zetzsche, Christoph and Krieger, Gerhard and Wegmann, Bernhard (1999) The Atoms of Vision: Cartesian or Polar ? Journal of the Optical Society of America, 16 (7), pp. 1554-1565.

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Official URL: http://www.opticsinfobase.org/abstract.cfm?URI=josaa-16-7-1554


The inherent structure of the encoding in early stages of the visual system is investigated from a combined information-theoretical, psychophysical, and neurophysiological perspective. We argue that the classical modeling in terms of linear spatial filters is equivalent to the assumption of a Cartesian organization of the feature space of early vision. We show that such a linear Cartesian feature space would be suboptimal for the exploitation of the statistical redundancies of natural images since these have a radially separable probability-density function. Therefore a more efficient representation can be obtained by a nonlinear encoding that yields a feature space with polar organization. This prediction of the information-theoretical approach regarding the organization of the feature space of early vision is confirmed by our psychophysical measurements of basic discrimination capabilities for elementary Gábor patches, and the necessary nonlinear operations are shown to be closely related to cortical gain control and to the phase invariance of complex cells. Finally, we point out some striking similarities between the polar representation in visual cortex and basic image-coding strategies pursued in shape-gain vector quantization schemes.

Document Type:Article
Title:The Atoms of Vision: Cartesian or Polar ?
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Zetzsche, ChristophArbeitsgruppe Kognitive Neuroinformatik, Universität Bremen, Germany
Krieger, GerhardUNSPECIFIED
Wegmann, BernhardSiemens AG, München
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of the Optical Society of America
Refereed publication:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 1554-1565
Keywords:nonlinear, image processing, coding, neuron, vision, higher-order statistics, gain control
HGF - Research field:other
HGF - Program:other
HGF - Program Themes:other
DLR - Research area:no assignement
DLR - Program:no assignment
DLR - Research theme (Project):other
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Microwaves and Radar Institute
Deposited By: Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Krieger
Deposited On:10 Jan 2006
Last Modified:27 Apr 2009 04:48

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