A mathematical model of color and orientation processing in V1.

Research paper by Elena Y EY Smirnova, Ekaterina A EA Chizhkova, Anton V AV Chizhov

Indexed on: 04 Sep '15Published on: 04 Sep '15Published in: Biological Cybernetics


Orientation processing in the primary visual cortex (V1) has been experimentally investigated in detail and reproduced in models, while color processing remains unclear. Thus, we have constructed a mathematical model of color and orientation processing in V1. The model is mainly based on the following experimental evidence concerning color blobs: A blob contains overlapping neuronal patches activated by different hues, so that each blob represents a full gamut of hue and might be structured with a loop (Xiao et al. in NeuroImage 35:771-786, 2007). The proposed model describes a set of orientation hypercolumns and color blobs, in which color and orientation preferences are represented by the poloidal and toroidal angles of a torus, correspondingly. The model consists of color-insensitive (CI) and color-sensitive (CS) neuronal populations, which are described by a firing-rate model. The set of CI neurons is described by the classical ring model (Ben-Yishai et al. in Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 92:3844-3848, 1995) with recurrent connections in the orientation space; similarly, the set of CS neurons is described in the color space and also receives input from CI neurons of the same orientation preference. The model predictions are as follows: (1) responses to oriented color stimuli are significantly stronger than those to non-oriented color stimuli; (2) the activity of CS neurons in total is higher than that of CI neurons; (3) a random color can be illusorily perceived in the case of gray oriented stimulus; (4) in response to two-color stimulus in the marginal phase, the network chooses either one of the colors or the intermediate color; (5) input to a blob has rather continual representation of a hue than discrete one (with two narrowly tuned opponent signals).