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2018


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Representation of sensory uncertainty in macaque visual cortex

Goris, R., Henaff, O., Meding, K.

Computational and Systems Neuroscience (COSYNE) 2018, March 2018 (poster)

[BibTex]

2018

[BibTex]


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Generalized phase locking analysis of electrophysiology data

Safavi, S., Panagiotaropoulos, T., Kapoor, V., Logothetis, N. K., Besserve, M.

7th AREADNE Conference on Research in Encoding and Decoding of Neural Ensembles, 2018 (poster)

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]


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Photorealistic Video Super Resolution

Pérez-Pellitero, E., Sajjadi, M. S. M., Hirsch, M., Schölkopf, B.

Workshop and Challenge on Perceptual Image Restoration and Manipulation (PIRM) at the 15th European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV), 2018 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Retinal image quality of the human eye across the visual field

Meding, K., Hirsch, M., Wichmann, F. A.

14th Biannual Conference of the German Society for Cognitive Science (KOGWIS 2018), 2018 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]

2008


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Variational Bayesian Model Selection in Linear Gaussian State-Space based Models

Chiappa, S.

International Workshop on Flexible Modelling: Smoothing and Robustness (FMSR 2008), 2008, pages: 1, November 2008 (poster)

Web [BibTex]

2008

Web [BibTex]


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Towards the neural basis of the flash-lag effect

Ecker, A., Berens, P., Hoenselaar, A., Subramaniyan, M., Tolias, A., Bethge, M.

International Workshop on Aspects of Adaptive Cortex Dynamics, 2008, pages: 1, September 2008 (poster)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Policy Learning: A Unified Perspective With Applications In Robotics

Peters, J., Kober, J., Nguyen-Tuong, D.

8th European Workshop on Reinforcement Learning for Robotics (EWRL 2008), 8, pages: 10, July 2008 (poster)

Abstract
Policy Learning approaches are among the best suited methods for high-dimensional, continuous control systems such as anthropomorphic robot arms and humanoid robots. In this paper, we show two contributions: firstly, we show a unified perspective which allows us to derive several policy learning al- gorithms from a common point of view, i.e, policy gradient algorithms, natural- gradient algorithms and EM-like policy learning. Secondly, we present several applications to both robot motor primitive learning as well as to robot control in task space. Results both from simulation and several different real robots are shown.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Reinforcement Learning of Perceptual Coupling for Motor Primitives

Kober, J., Peters, J.

8th European Workshop on Reinforcement Learning for Robotics (EWRL 2008), 8, pages: 16, July 2008 (poster)

Abstract
Reinforcement learning is a natural choice for the learning of complex motor tasks by reward-related self-improvement. As the space of movements is high-dimensional and continuous, a policy parametrization is needed which can be used in this context. Traditional motor primitive approaches deal largely with open-loop policies which can only deal with small perturbations. In this paper, we present a new type of motor primitive policies which serve as closed-loop policies together with an appropriate learning algorithm. Our new motor primitives are an augmented version version of the dynamic systems motor primitives that incorporates perceptual coupling to external variables. We show that these motor primitives can perform complex tasks such a Ball-in-a-Cup or Kendama task even with large variances in the initial conditions where a human would hardly be able to learn this task. We initialize the open-loop policies by imitation learning and the perceptual coupling with a handcrafted solution. We first improve the open-loop policies and subsequently the perceptual coupling using a novel reinforcement learning method which is particularly well-suited for motor primitives.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Flexible Models for Population Spike Trains

Bethge, M., Macke, J., Berens, P., Ecker, A., Tolias, A.

AREADNE 2008: Research in Encoding and Decoding of Neural Ensembles, 2, pages: 52, June 2008 (poster)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Pairwise Correlations and Multineuronal Firing Patterns in the Primary Visual Cortex of the Awake, Behaving Macaque

Berens, P., Ecker, A., Subramaniyan, M., Macke, J., Hauck, P., Bethge, M., Tolias, A.

AREADNE 2008: Research in Encoding and Decoding of Neural Ensembles, 2, pages: 48, June 2008 (poster)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Visual saliency re-visited: Center-surround patterns emerge as optimal predictors for human fixation targets

Wichmann, F., Kienzle, W., Schölkopf, B., Franz, M.

Journal of Vision, 8(6):635, 8th Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), June 2008 (poster)

Abstract
Humans perceives the world by directing the center of gaze from one location to another via rapid eye movements, called saccades. In the period between saccades the direction of gaze is held fixed for a few hundred milliseconds (fixations). It is primarily during fixations that information enters the visual system. Remarkably, however, after only a few fixations we perceive a coherent, high-resolution scene despite the visual acuity of the eye quickly decreasing away from the center of gaze: This suggests an effective strategy for selecting saccade targets. Top-down effects, such as the observer's task, thoughts, or intentions have an effect on saccadic selection. Equally well known is that bottom-up effects-local image structure-influence saccade targeting regardless of top-down effects. However, the question of what the most salient visual features are is still under debate. Here we model the relationship between spatial intensity patterns in natural images and the response of the saccadic system using tools from machine learning. This allows us to identify the most salient image patterns that guide the bottom-up component of the saccadic selection system, which we refer to as perceptive fields. We show that center-surround patterns emerge as the optimal solution to the problem of predicting saccade targets. Using a novel nonlinear system identification technique we reduce our learned classifier to a one-layer feed-forward network which is surprisingly simple compared to previously suggested models assuming more complex computations such as multi-scale processing, oriented filters and lateral inhibition. Nevertheless, our model is equally predictive and generalizes better to novel image sets. Furthermore, our findings are consistent with neurophysiological hardware in the superior colliculus. Bottom-up visual saliency may thus not be computed cortically as has been thought previously.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Analysis of Pattern Recognition Methods in Classifying Bold Signals in Monkeys at 7-Tesla

Ku, S., Gretton, A., Macke, J., Tolias, A., Logothetis, N.

AREADNE 2008: Research in Encoding and Decoding of Neural Ensembles, 2, pages: 67, June 2008 (poster)

Abstract
Pattern recognition methods have shown that fMRI data can reveal significant information about brain activity. For example, in the debate of how object-categories are represented in the brain, multivariate analysis has been used to provide evidence of distributed encoding schemes. Many follow-up studies have employed different methods to analyze human fMRI data with varying degrees of success. In this study we compare four popular pattern recognition methods: correlation analysis, support-vector machines (SVM), linear discriminant analysis and Gaussian naïve Bayes (GNB), using data collected at high field (7T) with higher resolution than usual fMRI studies. We investigate prediction performance on single trials and for averages across varying numbers of stimulus presentations. The performance of the various algorithms depends on the nature of the brain activity being categorized: for several tasks, many of the methods work well, whereas for others, no methods perform above chance level. An important factor in overall classification performance is careful preprocessing of the data, including dimensionality reduction, voxel selection, and outlier elimination.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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The role of stimulus correlations for population decoding in the retina

Schwartz, G., Macke, J., Berry, M.

Computational and Systems Neuroscience 2008 (COSYNE 2008), 5, pages: 172, March 2008 (poster)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]

2002


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Real-Time Statistical Learning for Oculomotor Control and Visuomotor Coordination

Vijayakumar, S., Souza, A., Peters, J., Conradt, J., Rutkowski, T., Ijspeert, A., Nakanishi, J., Inoue, M., Shibata, T., Wiryo, A., Itti, L., Amari, S., Schaal, S.

(Editors: Becker, S. , S. Thrun, K. Obermayer), Sixteenth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), December 2002 (poster)

Web [BibTex]

2002

Web [BibTex]


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Surface-slant-from-texture discrimination: Effects of slant level and texture type

Rosas, P., Wichmann, F., Wagemans, J.

Journal of Vision, 2(7):300, Second Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), November 2002 (poster)

Abstract
The problem of surface-slant-from-texture was studied psychophysically by measuring the performances of five human subjects in a slant-discrimination task with a number of different types of textures: uniform lattices, randomly displaced lattices, polka dots, Voronoi tessellations, orthogonal sinusoidal plaid patterns, fractal or 1/f noise, “coherent” noise and a “diffusion-based” texture (leopard skin-like). The results show: (1) Improving performance with larger slants for all textures. (2) A “non-symmetrical” performance around a particular slant characterized by a psychometric function that is steeper in the direction of the more slanted orientation. (3) For sufficiently large slants (66 deg) there are no major differences in performance between any of the different textures. (4) For slants at 26, 37 and 53 degrees, however, there are marked differences between the different textures. (5) The observed differences in performance across textures for slants up to 53 degrees are systematic within subjects, and nearly so across them. This allows a rank-order of textures to be formed according to their “helpfulness” — that is, how easy the discrimination task is when a particular texture is mapped on the surface. Polka dots tended to allow the best slant discrimination performance, noise patterns the worst up to the large slant of 66 degrees at which performance was almost independent of the particular texture chosen. Finally, our large number of 2AFC trials (approximately 2800 trials per texture across subjects) and associated tight confidence intervals may enable us to find out about which statistical properties of the textures could be responsible for surface-slant-from-texture estimation, with the ultimate goal of being able to predict observer performance for any arbitrary texture.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Modelling Contrast Transfer in Spatial Vision

Wichmann, F.

Journal of Vision, 2(10):7, Second Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), November 2002 (poster)

Abstract
Much of our information about spatial vision comes from detection experiments involving low-contrast stimuli. Contrast discrimination experiments provide one way to explore the visual system's response to stimuli of higher contrast, the results of which allow different models of contrast processing (e.g. energy versus gain-control models) to be critically assessed (Wichmann & Henning, 1999). Studies of detection and discrimination using pulse train stimuli in noise, on the other hand, make predictions about the number, position and properties of noise sources within the processing stream (Henning, Bird & Wichmann, 2002). Here I report modelling results combining data from both sinusoidal and pulse train experiments in and without noise to arrive at a more tightly constrained model of early spatial vision.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Pulse train detection and discrimination in pink noise

Henning, G., Wichmann, F., Bird, C.

Journal of Vision, 2(7):229, Second Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), November 2002 (poster)

Abstract
Much of our information about spatial vision comes from detection experiments involving low-contrast stimuli. Contrast discrimination experiments provide one way to explore the visual system's response to stimuli of higher contrast. We explored both detection and contrast discrimination performance with sinusoidal and "pulse-train" (or line) gratings. Both types of grating had a fundamental spatial frequency of 2.09-c/deg but the pulse-train, ideally, contains, in addition to its fundamental component, all the harmonics of the fundamental. Although the 2.09-c/deg pulse-train produced on the display was measured and shown to contain at least 8 harmonics at equal contrast, it was no more detectable than its most detectable component; no benefit from having additional information at the harmonics was measurable. The addition of broadband "pink" noise, designed to equalize the detectability of the components of the pulse train, made it about a factor of four more detectable than any of its components. However, in contrast-discrimination experiments, with an in-phase pedestal or masking grating of the same form and phase as the signal and 15% contrast, the noise did not improve the discrimination performance of the pulse train relative to that of its sinusoidal components. In contrast, a 2.09-c/deg "super train," constructed to have 8 equally detectable harmonics, was a factor of five more detectable than any of its components. We discuss the implications of these observations for models of early vision in particular the implications for possible sources of internal noise.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Phase information in the recognition of natural images

Braun, D., Wichmann, F., Gegenfurtner, K.

Perception, 31(ECVP Abstract Supplement):133, 25th European Conference on Visual Perception, August 2002 (poster)

Abstract
Fourier phase plays an important role in determining global image structure. For example, when the phase spectrum of an image of a flower is swapped with that of a tank, we usually perceive a tank, even though the amplitude spectrum is still that of the flower. Similarly, when the phase spectrum of an image is randomly swapped across frequencies, that is its Fourier energy is randomly distributed over the image, the resulting image becomes impossible to recognise. Our goal was to evaluate the effect of phase manipulations in a quantitative manner. Subjects viewed two images of natural scenes, one of which contained an animal (the target) embedded in the background. The spectra of the images were manipulated by adding random phase noise at each frequency. The phase noise was the independent variable, uniformly distributed between 0° and ±180°. Subjects were remarkably resistant to phase noise. Even with ±120° noise, subjects were still 75% correct. The proportion of correct answers closely followed the correlation between original and noise-distorted images. Thus it appears as if it was not the global phase information per se that determines our percept of natural images, but rather the effect of phase on local image features.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Detection and discrimination in pink noise

Wichmann, F., Henning, G.

5, pages: 100, 5. T{\"u}binger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK), February 2002 (poster)

Abstract
Much of our information about early spatial vision comes from detection experiments involving low-contrast stimuli, which are not, perhaps, particularly "natural" stimuli. Contrast discrimination experiments provide one way to explore the visual system's response to stimuli of higher contrast whilst keeping the number of unknown parameters comparatively small. We explored both detection and contrast discrimination performance with sinusoidal and "pulse-train" (or line) gratings. Both types of grating had a fundamental spatial frequency of 2.09-c/deg but the pulse-train, ideally, contains, in addition to its fundamental component, all the harmonics of the fundamental. Although the 2.09-c/deg pulse-train produced on our display was measured using a high-performance digital camera (Photometrics) and shown to contain at least 8 harmonics at equal contrast, it was no more detectable than its most detectable component; no benefit from having additional information at the harmonics was measurable. The addition of broadband 1-D "pink" noise made it about a factor of four more detectable than any of its components. However, in contrast-discrimination experiments, with an in-phase pedestal or masking grating of the same form and phase as the signal and 15% contrast, the noise did not improve the discrimination performance of the pulse train relative to that of its sinusoidal components. We discuss the implications of these observations for models of early vision in particular the implications for possible sources of internal noise.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Application of Monte Carlo Methods to Psychometric Function Fitting

Wichmann, F.

Proceedings of the 33rd European Conference on Mathematical Psychology, pages: 44, 2002 (poster)

Abstract
The psychometric function relates an observer's performance to an independent variable, usually some physical quantity of a stimulus in a psychophysical task. Here I describe methods to (1) fitting psychometric functions, (2) assessing goodness-of-fit, and (3) providing confidence intervals for the function's parameters and other estimates derived from them. First I describe a constrained maximum-likelihood method for parameter estimation. Using Monte-Carlo simulations I demonstrate that it is important to have a fitting method that takes stimulus-independent errors (or "lapses") into account. Second, a number of goodness-of-fit tests are introduced. Because psychophysical data sets are usually rather small I advocate the use of Monte Carlo resampling techniques that do not rely on asymptotic theory for goodness-of-fit assessment. Third, a parametric bootstrap is employed to estimate the variability of fitted parameters and derived quantities such as thresholds and slopes. I describe how the bootstrap bridging assumption, on which the validity of the procedure depends, can be tested without incurring too high a cost in computation time. Finally I describe how the methods can be extended to test hypotheses concerning the form and shape of several psychometric functions. Software describing the methods is available (http://www.bootstrap-software.com/psignifit/), as well as articles describing the methods in detail (Wichmann&Hill, Perception&Psychophysics, 2001a,b).

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Optimal linear estimation of self-motion - a real-world test of a model of fly tangential neurons

Franz, MO.

SAB 02 Workshop, Robotics as theoretical biology, 7th meeting of the International Society for Simulation of Adaptive Behaviour (SAB), (Editors: Prescott, T.; Webb, B.), 2002 (poster)

Abstract
The tangential neurons in the fly brain are sensitive to the typical optic flow patterns generated during self-motion (see example in Fig.1). We examine whether a simplified linear model of these neurons can be used to estimate self-motion from the optic flow. We present a theory for the construction of an optimal linear estimator incorporating prior knowledge both about the distance distribution of the environment, and about the noise and self-motion statistics of the sensor. The optimal estimator is tested on a gantry carrying an omnidirectional vision sensor that can be moved along three translational and one rotational degree of freedom. The experiments indicate that the proposed approach yields accurate results for rotation estimates, independently of the current translation and scene layout. Translation estimates, however, turned out to be sensitive to simultaneous rotation and to the particular distance distribution of the scene. The gantry experiments confirm that the receptive field organization of the tangential neurons allows them, as an ensemble, to extract self-motion from the optic flow.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]

1999


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Unexpected and anticipated pain: identification of specific brain activations by correlation with reference functions derived form conditioning theory

Ploghaus, A., Clare, S., Wichmann, F., Tracey, I.

29, 29th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience), October 1999 (poster)

[BibTex]

1999

[BibTex]


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Single-class Support Vector Machines

Schölkopf, B., Williamson, R., Smola, A., Shawe-Taylor, J.

Dagstuhl-Seminar on Unsupervised Learning, pages: 19-20, (Editors: J. Buhmann, W. Maass, H. Ritter and N. Tishby), 1999 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Pedestal effects with periodic pulse trains

Henning, G., Wichmann, F.

Perception, 28, pages: S137, 1999 (poster)

Abstract
It is important to know for theoretical reasons how performance varies with stimulus contrast. But, for objects on CRT displays, retinal contrast is limited by the linear range of the display and the modulation transfer function of the eye. For example, with an 8 c/deg sinusoidal grating at 90% contrast, the contrast of the retinal image is barely 45%; more retinal contrast is required, however, to discriminate among theories of contrast discrimination (Wichmann, Henning and Ploghaus, 1998). The stimulus with the greatest contrast at any spatial-frequency component is a periodic pulse train which has 200% contrast at every harmonic. Such a waveform cannot, of course, be produced; the best we can do with our Mitsubishi display provides a contrast of 150% at an 8-c/deg fundamental thus producing a retinal image with about 75% contrast. The penalty of using this stimulus is that the 2nd harmonic of the retinal image also has high contrast (with an emmetropic eye, more than 60% of the contrast of the 8-c/deg fundamental ) and the mean luminance is not large (24.5 cd/m2 on our display). We have used standard 2-AFC experiments to measure the detectability of an 8-c/deg pulse train against the background of an identical pulse train of different contrasts. An unusually large improvement in detetectability was measured, the pedestal effect or "dipper," and the dipper was unusually broad. The implications of these results will be discussed.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Implications of the pedestal effect for models of contrast-processing and gain-control

Wichmann, F., Henning, G.

OSA Conference Program, pages: 62, 1999 (poster)

Abstract
Understanding contrast processing is essential for understanding spatial vision. Pedestal contrast systematically affects slopes of functions relating 2-AFC contrast discrimination performance to pedestal contrast. The slopes provide crucial information because only full sets of data allow discrimination among contrast-processing and gain-control models. Issues surrounding Weber's law will also be discussed.

[BibTex]

1996


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Aktives Erwerben eines Ansichtsgraphen zur diskreten Repräsentation offener Umwelten.

Franz, M., Schölkopf, B., Mallot, H., Bülthoff, H.

Fortschritte der K{\"u}nstlichen Intelligenz, pages: 138-147, (Editors: M. Thielscher and S.-E. Bornscheuer), 1996 (poster)

PDF PostScript [BibTex]

1996

PDF PostScript [BibTex]


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Does motion-blur facilitate motion detection ?

Wichmann, F., Henning, G.

OSA Conference Program, pages: S127, 1996 (poster)

Abstract
Retinal-image motion induces the perceptual loss of high spatial-frequency content - motion blur - that affects broadband stimuli. The relative detectability of motion blur and motion itself, measured in 2-AFC experiments, shows that, although the blur associated with motion can be detected, motion itself is the more effective cue.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]