- Experience-driven formation of parts-based representations in a model of layered visual memory (2009)
- Growing neuropsychological and neurophysiological evidence suggests that the visual cortex uses parts-based representations to encode, store and retrieve relevant objects. In such a scheme, objects are represented as a set of spatially distributed local features, or parts, arranged in stereotypical fashion. To encode the local appearance and to represent the relations between the constituent parts, there has to be an appropriate memory structure formed by previous experience with visual objects. Here, we propose a model how a hierarchical memory structure supporting efficient storage and rapid recall of parts-based representations can be established by an experience-driven process of self-organization. The process is based on the collaboration of slow bidirectional synaptic plasticity and homeostatic unit activity regulation, both running at the top of fast activity dynamics with winner-take-all character modulated by an oscillatory rhythm. These neural mechanisms lay down the basis for cooperation and competition between the distributed units and their synaptic connections. Choosing human face recognition as a test task, we show that, under the condition of open-ended, unsupervised incremental learning, the system is able to form memory traces for individual faces in a parts-based fashion. On a lower memory layer the synaptic structure is developed to represent local facial features and their interrelations, while the identities of different persons are captured explicitly on a higher layer. An additional property of the resulting representations is the sparseness of both the activity during the recall and the synaptic patterns comprising the memory traces. Keywords: visual memory, self-organization, unsupervised learning, competitive learning, bidirectional plasticity, activity homeostasis, parts-based representation, cortical column
- Robotic Gesture Recognition (1997)
- Robots of the future should communicate with humans in a natural way. We are especially interested in vision-based gesture interfaces. In the context of robotics several constraints exist, which make the task of gesture recognition particularly challenging. We discuss these constraints and report on progress being made in our lab in the development of techniques for building robust gesture interfaces which can handle these constraints. In an example application, the techniques are shown to be easily combined to build a gesture interface for a real robot grasping objects on a table in front of it.
- A System for Person-Independent Hand Posture Recognition against Complex Backgrounds (2001)
- A computer vision system for non-independent recognition of hand postures against complex background is presented. THe system is based on Elastic Graph Matching (EGM), which was extended to allow for combinations of different feature types at the graph nodes.
- Binding - a proposed experiment and a model (1996)
- The binding problem is regarded as one of today's key questions about brain function. Several solutions have been proposed, yet the issue is still controversial. The goal of this article is twofold. Firstly, we propose a new experimental paradigm requiring feature binding, the "delayed binding response task". Secondly, we propose a binding mechanism employing fast reversible synaptic plasticity to express the binding between concepts. We discuss the experimental predictions of our model for the delayed binding response task.
- A global decision-making model via synchronization in macrocolumn units (2009)
- Poster presentation: Introduction We here address the problem of integrating information about multiple objects and their positions on the visual scene. A primate visual system has little difficulty in rapidly achieving integration, given only a few objects. Unfortunately, computer vision still has great difficultly achieving comparable performance. It has been hypothesized that temporal binding or temporal separation could serve as a crucial mechanism to deal with information about objects and their positions in parallel to each other. Elaborating on this idea, we propose a neurally plausible mechanism for reaching local decision-making for "what" and "where" information to the global multi-object recognition. ...
- A correspondence-based neural mechanism for position invariant feature processing (2009)
- Poster presentation: Introduction We here focus on constructing a hierarchical neural system for position-invariant recognition, which is one of the most fundamental invariant recognition achieved in visual processing [1,2]. The invariant recognition have been hypothesized to be done by matching a sensory image of a particular object stimulated on the retina to the most suitable representation stored in memory of the higher visual cortical area. Here arises a general problem: In such a visual processing, the position of the object image on the retina must be initially uncertain. Furthermore, the retinal activities possessing sensory information are being far from the ones in the higher area with a loss of the sensory object information. Nevertheless, with such recognition ambiguity, the particular object can effortlessly and easily be recognized. Our aim in this work is an attempt to resolve such a general recognition problem. ...
- Grouping variables in an underdetermined system for invariant object recognition (2009)
- Poster presentation: Introduction We study the problem of object recognition invariant to transformations, such as translation, rotation and scale. A system is underdetermined if its degrees of freedom (number of possible transformations and potential objects) exceed the available information (image size). The regularization theory solves this problem by adding constraints . It is unclear what constraints biological systems use. We suggest that rather than seeking constraints, an underdetermined system can make decisions based on available information by grouping its variables. We propose a dynamical system as a minimum system for invariant recognition to demonstrate this strategy. ...
- Activity-dependent bidirectional plasticity and homeostasis regulation governing structure formation in a model of layered visual memory (2009)
- Poster presentation: Our work deals with the self-organization  of a memory structure that includes multiple hierarchical levels with massive recurrent communication within and between them. Such structure has to provide a representational basis for the relevant objects to be stored and recalled in a rapid and efficient way. Assuming that the object patterns consist of many spatially distributed local features, a problem of parts-based learning is posed. We speculate on the neural mechanisms governing the process of the structure formation and demonstrate their functionality on the task of human face recognition. The model we propose is based on two consecutive layers of distributed cortical modules, which in turn contain subunits receiving common afferents and bounded by common lateral inhibition (Figure 1). In the initial state, the connectivity between and within the layers is homogeneous, all types of synapses – bottom-up, lateral and top-down – being plastic. During the iterative learning, the lower layer of the system is exposed to the Gabor filter banks extracted from local points on the face images. Facing an unsupervised learning problem, the system is able to develop synaptic structure capturing local features and their relations on the lower level, as well as the global identity of the person at the higher level of processing, improving gradually its recognition performance with learning time. ...
- Mühsame Detektivarbeit : die Memorik als Herausforderung für die Geschichtswissenschaft (2005)
- Rezension zu: Johannes Fried : Der Schleier der Erinnerung. Grundzüge einer historischen Memorik, C.H. Beck Verlag, München 2004, ISBN 3406522114, 512 Seiten, 39,90 Euro.