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2009


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Learning Probabilistic Models via Bayesian Inverse Planning

Boularias, A., Chaib-Draa, B.

NIPS Workshop on Probabilistic Approaches for Robotics and Control, December 2009 (poster)

PDF Web [BibTex]

2009

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Bayesian Quadratic Reinforcement Learning

Hennig, P., Stern, D., Graepel, T.

NIPS Workshop on Probabilistic Approaches for Robotics and Control, December 2009 (poster)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Policy Transfer in Apprenticeship Learning

Boularias, A., Chaib-Draa, B.

NIPS Workshop on Transfer Learning for Structured Data (TLSD-09), December 2009 (poster)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Clinical PET/MRI-System and Its Applications with MRI Based Attenuation Correction

Kolb, A., Hofmann, M., Sossi, V., Wehrl, H., Sauter, A., Schmid, A., Schlemmer, H., Claussen, C., Pichler, B.

IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference (NSS/MIC 2009), 2009, pages: 1, October 2009 (poster)

Abstract
Clinical PET/MRI is an emerging new hybrid imaging modality. In addition to provide an unique possibility for multifunctional imaging with temporally and spatially matched data, it also provides anatomical information that can also be used for attenuation correction with no radiation exposure to the subjects. A plus of combined compared to sequential PET and MR imaging is the reduction of total scan time. Here we present our initial experience with a hybrid brain PET/MRI system. Due to the ethical approval patient scans could only be performed after a diagnostic PET/CT. We estimate that in approximately 50% of the cases PET/MRI was of superior diagnostic value compared to PET/CT and was able to provide additional information, such as DTI, spectroscopy and Time Of Flight (TOF) angiography. Here we present 3 patient cases in oncology, a retropharyngeal carcinoma in neurooncology, a relapsing meningioma and in neurology a pharyngeal carcinoma in addition to an infraction of the right hemisphere. For quantitative PET imaging attenuation correction is obligatory. In current PET/MRI setup we used our MRI based atlas method for calculating the mu-map for attenuation correction. MR-based attenuation correction accuracy was quantitatively compared to CT-based PET attenuation correction. Extensive studies to assess potential mutual interferences between PET and MR imaging modalities as well as NEMA measurements have been performed. The first patient studies as well as the phantom tests clearly demonstrated the overall good imaging performance of this first human PET/MRI system. Ongoing work concentrates on advanced normalization and reconstruction methods incorporating count-rate based algorithms.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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A flowering-time gene network model for association analysis in Arabidopsis thaliana

Klotzbücher, K., Kobayashi, Y., Shervashidze, N., Borgwardt, K., Weigel, D.

2009(39):95-96, German Conference on Bioinformatics (GCB '09), September 2009 (poster)

Abstract
In our project we want to determine a set of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which have a major effect on the flowering time of Arabidopsis thaliana. Instead of performing a genome-wide association study on all SNPs in the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana, we examine the subset of SNPs from the flowering-time gene network model. We are interested in how the results of the association study vary when using only the ascertained subset of SNPs from the flowering network model, and when additionally using the information encoded by the structure of the network model. The network model is compiled from the literature by manual analysis and contains genes which have been found to affect the flowering time of Arabidopsis thaliana [Far+08; KW07]. The genes in this model are annotated with the SNPs that are located in these genes, or in near proximity to them. In a baseline comparison between the subset of SNPs from the graph and the set of all SNPs, we omit the structural information and calculate the correlation between the individual SNPs and the flowering time phenotype by use of statistical methods. Through this we can determine the subset of SNPs with the highest correlation to the flowering time. In order to further refine this subset, we include the additional information provided by the network structure by conducting a graph-based feature pre-selection. In the further course of this project we want to validate and examine the resulting set of SNPs and their corresponding genes with experimental methods.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Initial Data from a first PET/MRI-System and its Applications in Clinical Studies Using MRI Based Attenuation Correction

Kolb, A., Hofmann, M., Sossi, V., Wehrl, H., Sauter, A., Schmid, A., Judenhofer, M., Schlemmer, H., Claussen, C., Pichler, B.

2009 World Molecular Imaging Congress, 2009, pages: 1200, September 2009 (poster)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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A High-Speed Object Tracker from Off-the-Shelf Components

Lampert, C., Peters, J.

First IEEE Workshop on Computer Vision for Humanoid Robots in Real Environments at ICCV 2009, 1, pages: 1, September 2009 (poster)

Abstract
We introduce RTblob, an open-source real-time vision system for 3D object detection that achieves over 200 Hz tracking speed with only off-the-shelf hardware component. It allows fast and accurate tracking of colored objects in 3D without expensive and often custom-built hardware, instead making use of the PC graphics cards for the necessary image processing operations.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Estimating Critical Stimulus Features from Psychophysical Data: The Decision-Image Technique Applied to Human Faces

Macke, J., Wichmann, F.

Journal of Vision, 9(8):31, 9th Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), August 2009 (poster)

Abstract
One of the main challenges in the sensory sciences is to identify the stimulus features on which the sensory systems base their computations: they are a pre-requisite for computational models of perception. We describe a technique---decision-images--- for extracting critical stimulus features based on logistic regression. Rather than embedding the stimuli in noise, as is done in classification image analysis, we want to infer the important features directly from physically heterogeneous stimuli. A Decision-image not only defines the critical region-of-interest within a stimulus but is a quantitative template which defines a direction in stimulus space. Decision-images thus enable the development of predictive models, as well as the generation of optimized stimuli for subsequent psychophysical investigations. Here we describe our method and apply it to data from a human face discrimination experiment. We show that decision-images are able to predict human responses not only in terms of overall percent correct but are able to predict, for individual observers, the probabilities with which individual faces are (mis-) classified. We then test the predictions of the models using optimized stimuli. Finally, we discuss possible generalizations of the approach and its relationships with other models.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Semi-supervised Analysis of Human fMRI Data

Shelton, JA., Blaschko, MB., Lampert, CH., Bartels, A.

Berlin Brain Computer Interface Workshop on Advances in Neurotechnology, 2009, pages: 1, July 2009 (poster)

Abstract
Kernel Canonical Correlation Analysis (KCCA) is a general technique for subspace learning that incorporates principal components analysis (PCA) and Fisher linear discriminant analysis (LDA) as special cases. By finding directions that maximize correlation, CCA learns representations tied more closely to underlying process generating the the data and can ignore high-variance noise directions. However, for data where acquisition in a given modality is expensive or otherwise limited, CCA may suffer from small sample effects. We propose to use semisupervised Laplacian regularization to utilize data that are present in only one modality. This approach is able to find highly correlated directions that also lie along the data manifold, resulting in a more robust estimate of correlated subspaces. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) acquired data are naturally amenable to subspace techniques as data are well aligned. fMRI data of the human brain are a particularly interesting candidate. In this study we implemented various supervised and semi-supervised versions of CCA on human fMRI data, with regression to single and multivariate labels (corresponding to video content subjects viewed during the image acquisition). In each variate condition, the semi-supervised variants of CCA performed better than the supervised variants, including a supervised variant with Laplacian regularization. We additionally analyze the weights learned by the regression in order to infer brain regions that are important to different types of visual processing.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Optimization of k-Space Trajectories by Bayesian Experimental Design

Seeger, M., Nickisch, H., Pohmann, R., Schölkopf, B.

17(2627), 17th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), April 2009 (poster)

Abstract
MR image reconstruction from undersampled k-space can be improved by nonlinear denoising estimators since they incorporate statistical prior knowledge about image sparsity. Reconstruction quality depends crucially on the undersampling design (k-space trajectory), in a manner complicated by the nonlinear and signal-dependent characteristics of these methods. We propose an algorithm to assess and optimize k-space trajectories for sparse MRI reconstruction, based on Bayesian experimental design, which is scaled up to full MR images by a novel variational relaxation to iteratively reweighted FFT or gridding computations. Designs are built sequentially by adding phase encodes predicted to be most informative, given the combination of previous measurements with image prior information.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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MR-Based Attenuation Correction for PET/MR

Hofmann, M., Steinke, F., Bezrukov, I., Kolb, A., Aschoff, P., Lichy, M., Erb, M., Nägele, T., Brady, M., Schölkopf, B., Pichler, B.

17(260), 17th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), April 2009 (poster)

Abstract
There has recently been a growing interest in combining PET and MR. Attenuation correction (AC), which accounts for radiation attenuation properties of the tissue, is mandatory for quantitative PET. In the case of PET/MR the attenuation map needs to be determined from the MR image. This is intrinsically difficult as MR intensities are not related to the electron density information of the attenuation map. Using ultra-short echo (UTE) acquisition, atlas registration and machine learning, we present methods that allow prediction of the attenuation map based on the MR image both for brain and whole body imaging.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]

2006


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Some observations on the pedestal effect or dipper function

Henning, B., Wichmann, F.

Journal of Vision, 6(13):50, 2006 Fall Vision Meeting of the Optical Society of America, December 2006 (poster)

Abstract
The pedestal effect is the large improvement in the detectabilty of a sinusoidal “signal” grating observed when the signal is added to a masking or “pedestal” grating of the same spatial frequency, orientation, and phase. We measured the pedestal effect in both broadband and notched noise - noise from which a 1.5-octave band centred on the signal frequency had been removed. Although the pedestal effect persists in broadband noise, it almost disappears in the notched noise. Furthermore, the pedestal effect is substantial when either high- or low-pass masking noise is used. We conclude that the pedestal effect in the absence of notched noise results principally from the use of information derived from channels with peak sensitivities at spatial frequencies different from that of the signal and pedestal. The spatial-frequency components of the notched noise above and below the spatial frequency of the signal and pedestal prevent the use of information about changes in contrast carried in channels tuned to spatial frequencies that are very much different from that of the signal and pedestal. Thus the pedestal or dipper effect measured without notched noise is not a characteristic of individual spatial-frequency tuned channels.

Web DOI [BibTex]

2006

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Optimizing Spatial Filters for BCI: Margin- and Evidence-Maximization Approaches

Farquhar, J., Hill, N., Schölkopf, B.

Challenging Brain-Computer Interfaces: MAIA Workshop 2006, pages: 1, November 2006 (poster)

Abstract
We present easy-to-use alternatives to the often-used two-stage Common Spatial Pattern + classifier approach for spatial filtering and classification of Event-Related Desychnronization signals in BCI. We report two algorithms that aim to optimize the spatial filters according to a criterion more directly related to the ability of the algorithms to generalize to unseen data. Both are based upon the idea of treating the spatial filter coefficients as hyperparameters of a kernel or covariance function. We then optimize these hyper-parameters directly along side the normal classifier parameters with respect to our chosen learning objective function. The two objectives considered are margin maximization as used in Support-Vector Machines and the evidence maximization framework used in Gaussian Processes. Our experiments assessed generalization error as a function of the number of training points used, on 9 BCI competition data sets and 5 offline motor imagery data sets measured in Tubingen. Both our approaches sho w consistent improvements relative to the commonly used CSP+linear classifier combination. Strikingly, the improvement is most significant in the higher noise cases, when either few trails are used for training, or with the most poorly performing subjects. This a reversal of the usual "rich get richer" effect in the development of CSP extensions, which tend to perform best when the signal is strong enough to accurately find their additional parameters. This makes our approach particularly suitable for clinical application where high levels of noise are to be expected.

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Learning Eye Movements

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

Sensory Coding And The Natural Environment, 2006, pages: 1, September 2006 (poster)

Abstract
The human visual system samples images through saccadic eye movements which rapidly change the point of fixation. Although the selection of eye movement targets depends on numerous top-down mechanisms, a number of recent studies have shown that low-level image features such as local contrast or edges play an important role. These studies typically used predefined image features which were afterwards experimentally verified. Here, we follow a complementary approach: instead of testing a set of candidate image features, we infer these hypotheses from the data, using methods from statistical learning. To this end, we train a non-linear classifier on fixated vs. randomly selected image patches without making any physiological assumptions. The resulting classifier can be essentially characterized by a nonlinear combination of two center-surround receptive fields. We find that the prediction performance of this simple model on our eye movement data is indistinguishable from the physiologically motivated model of Itti & Koch (2000) which is far more complex. In particular, we obtain a comparable performance without using any multi-scale representations, long-range interactions or oriented image features.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Classification of natural scenes: Critical features revisited

Drewes, J., Wichmann, F., Gegenfurtner, K.

Journal of Vision, 6(6):561, 6th Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), June 2006 (poster)

Abstract
Human observers are capable of detecting animals within novel natural scenes with remarkable speed and accuracy. Despite the seeming complexity of such decisions it has been hypothesized that a simple global image feature, the relative abundance of high spatial frequencies at certain orientations, could underly such fast image classification (A. Torralba & A. Oliva, Network: Comput. Neural Syst., 2003). We successfully used linear discriminant analysis to classify a set of 11.000 images into “animal” and “non-animal” images based on their individual amplitude spectra only (Drewes, Wichmann, Gegenfurtner VSS 2005). We proceeded to sort the images based on the performance of our classifier, retaining only the best and worst classified 400 images (“best animals”, “best distractors” and “worst animals”, “worst distractors”). We used a Go/No-go paradigm to evaluate human performance on this subset of our images. Both reaction time and proportion of correctly classified images showed a significant effect of classification difficulty. Images more easily classified by our algorithm were also classified faster and better by humans, as predicted by the Torralba & Oliva hypothesis. We then equated the amplitude spectra of the 400 images, which, by design, reduced algorithmic performance to chance whereas human performance was only slightly reduced (cf. Wichmann, Rosas, Gegenfurtner, VSS 2005). Most importantly, the same images as before were still classified better and faster, suggesting that even in the original condition features other than specifics of the amplitude spectrum made particular images easy to classify, clearly at odds with the Torralba & Oliva hypothesis.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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The pedestal effect is caused by off-frequency looking, not nonlinear transduction or contrast gain-control

Wichmann, F., Henning, B.

Journal of Vision, 6(6):194, 6th Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), June 2006 (poster)

Abstract
The pedestal or dipper effect is the large improvement in the detectabilty of a sinusoidal grating observed when the signal is added to a pedestal or masking grating having the signal‘s spatial frequency, orientation, and phase. The effect is largest with pedestal contrasts just above the ‘threshold‘ in the absence of a pedestal. We measured the pedestal effect in both broadband and notched masking noise---noise from which a 1.5- octave band centered on the signal and pedestal frequency had been removed. The pedestal effect persists in broadband noise, but almost disappears with notched noise. The spatial-frequency components of the notched noise that lie above and below the spatial frequency of the signal and pedestal prevent the use of information about changes in contrast carried in channels tuned to spatial frequencies that are very much different from that of the signal and pedestal. We conclude that the pedestal effect in the absence of notched noise results principally from the use of information derived from channels with peak sensitivities at spatial frequencies that are different from that of the signal and pedestal. Thus the pedestal or dipper effect is not a characteristic of individual spatial-frequency tuned channels.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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The Pedestal Effect is Caused by Off-Frequency Looking, not Nonlinear Transduction or Contrast Gain-Control

Wichmann, F., Henning, G.

9, pages: 174, 9th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), March 2006 (poster)

Abstract
The pedestal or dipper effect is the large improvement in the detectability of a sinusoidal grating observed when the signal is added to a pedestal or masking grating having the signal‘s spatial frequency, orientation, and phase. The effect is largest with pedestal contrasts just above the ‘threshold’ in the absence of a pedestal. We measured the pedestal effect in both broadband and notched masking noise---noise from which a 1.5-octave band centered on the signal and pedestal frequency had been removed. The pedestal effect persists in broadband noise, but almost disappears with notched noise. The spatial-frequency components of the notched noise that lie above and below the spatial frequency of the signal and pedestal prevent the use of information about changes in contrast carried in channels tuned to spatial frequencies that are very much different from that of the signal and pedestal. We conclude that the pedestal effect in the absence of notched noise results principally from the use of information derived from channels with peak sensitivities at spatial frequencies that are different from that of the signal and pedestal. Thus the pedestal or dipper effect is not a characteristic of individual spatial-frequency tuned channels.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Efficient tests for the deconvolution hypothesis

Langovoy, M.

Workshop on Statistical Inverse Problems, March 2006 (poster)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Classification of Natural Scenes: Critical Features Revisited

Drewes, J., Wichmann, F., Gegenfurtner, K.

9, pages: 92, 9th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), March 2006 (poster)

Abstract
Human observers are capable of detecting animals within novel natural scenes with remarkable speed and accuracy. Despite the seeming complexity of such decisions it has been hypothesized that a simple global image feature, the relative abundance of high spatial frequencies at certain orientations, could underly such fast image classification [1]. We successfully used linear discriminant analysis to classify a set of 11.000 images into “animal” and “non-animal” images based on their individual amplitude spectra only [2]. We proceeded to sort the images based on the performance of our classifier, retaining only the best and worst classified 400 images ("best animals", "best distractors" and "worst animals", "worst distractors"). We used a Go/No-go paradigm to evaluate human performance on this subset of our images. Both reaction time and proportion of correctly classified images showed a significant effect of classification difficulty. Images more easily classified by our algorithm were also classified faster and better by humans, as predicted by the Torralba & Oliva hypothesis. We then equated the amplitude spectra of the 400 images, which, by design, reduced algorithmic performance to chance whereas human performance was only slightly reduced [3]. Most importantly, the same images as before were still classified better and faster, suggesting that even in the original condition features other than specifics of the amplitude spectrum made particular images easy to classify, clearly at odds with the Torralba & Oliva hypothesis.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Factorial Coding of Natural Images: How Effective are Linear Models in Removing Higher-Order Dependencies?

Bethge, M.

9, pages: 90, 9th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), March 2006 (poster)

Abstract
The performance of unsupervised learning models for natural images is evaluated quantitatively by means of information theory. We estimate the gain in statistical independence (the multi-information reduction) achieved with independent component analysis (ICA), principal component analysis (PCA), zero-phase whitening, and predictive coding. Predictive coding is translated into the transform coding framework, where it can be characterized by the constraint of a triangular filter matrix. A randomly sampled whitening basis and the Haar wavelet are included into the comparison as well. The comparison of all these methods is carried out for different patch sizes, ranging from 2x2 to 16x16 pixels. In spite of large differences in the shape of the basis functions, we find only small differences in the multi-information between all decorrelation transforms (5% or less) for all patch sizes. Among the second-order methods, PCA is optimal for small patch sizes and predictive coding performs best for large patch sizes. The extra gain achieved with ICA is always less than 2%. In conclusion, the `edge filters‘ found with ICA lead only to a surprisingly small improvement in terms of its actual objective.

Web [BibTex]


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Classification of natural scenes: critical features revisited

Drewes, J., Wichmann, F., Gegenfurtner, K.

Experimentelle Psychologie: Beitr{\"a}ge zur 48. Tagung experimentell arbeitender Psychologen, 48, pages: 251, 2006 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Texture and haptic cues in slant discrimination: combination is sensitive to reliability but not statistically optimal

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

Beitr{\"a}ge zur 48. Tagung experimentell arbeitender Psychologen (TeaP 2006), 48, pages: 80, 2006 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Ähnlichkeitsmasse in Modellen zur Kategorienbildung

Jäkel, F., Wichmann, F.

Experimentelle Psychologie: Beitr{\"a}ge zur 48. Tagung experimentell arbeitender Psychologen, 48, pages: 223, 2006 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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The pedestal effect is caused by off-frequency looking, not nonlinear transduction or contrast gain-control

Wichmann, F., Henning, B.

Experimentelle Psychologie: Beitr{\"a}ge zur 48. Tagung experimentell arbeitender Psychologen, 48, pages: 205, 2006 (poster)

[BibTex]

[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]

2001


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Perception of Planar Shapes in Depth

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

Journal of Vision, 1(3):176, First Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), December 2001 (poster)

Abstract
We investigated the influence of the perceived 3D-orientation of planar elliptical shapes on the perception of the shapes themselves. Ellipses were projected onto the surface of a sphere and subjects were asked to indicate if the projected shapes looked as if they were a circle on the surface of the sphere. The image of the sphere was obtained from a real, (near) perfect sphere using a highly accurate digital camera (real sphere diameter 40 cm; camera-to-sphere distance 320 cm; for details see Willems et al., Perception 29, S96, 2000; Photometrics SenSys 400 digital camera with Rodenstock lens, 12-bit linear luminance resolution). Stimuli were presented monocularly on a carefully linearized Sony GDM-F500 monitor keeping the scene geometry as in the real case (sphere diameter on screen 8.2 cm; viewing distance 66 cm). Experiments were run in a darkened room using a viewing tube to minimize, as far as possible, extraneous monocular cues to depth. Three different methods were used to obtain subjects' estimates of 3D-shape: the method of adjustment, temporal 2-alternative forced choice (2AFC) and yes/no. Several results are noteworthy. First, mismatch between perceived and objective slant tended to decrease with increasing objective slant. Second, the variability of the settings, too, decreased with increasing objective slant. Finally, we comment on the results obtained using different psychophysical methods and compare our results to those obtained using a real sphere and binocular vision (Willems et al.).

Web DOI [BibTex]

2001

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Plaid maskers revisited: asymmetric plaids

Wichmann, F.

pages: 57, 4. T{\"u}binger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK), March 2001 (poster)

Abstract
A large number of psychophysical and physiological experiments suggest that luminance patterns are independently analysed in channels responding to different bands of spatial frequency. There are, however, interactions among stimuli falling well outside the usual estimates of channels' bandwidths. Derrington & Henning (1989) first reported that, in 2-AFC sinusoidal-grating detection, plaid maskers, whose components are oriented symmetrically about the signal orientation, cause a substantially larger threshold elevation than would be predicted from their sinusoidal constituents alone. Wichmann & Tollin (1997a,b) and Wichmann & Henning (1998) confirmed and extended the original findings, measuring masking as a function of presentation time and plaid mask contrast. Here I investigate masking using plaid patterns whose components are asymmetrically positioned about the signal orientation. Standard temporal 2-AFC pattern discrimination experiments were conducted using plaid patterns and oblique sinusoidal gratings as maskers, and horizontally orientated sinusoidal gratings as signals. Signal and maskers were always interleaved on the display (refresh rate 152 Hz). As in the case of the symmetrical plaid maskers, substantial masking was observed for many of the asymmetrical plaids. Masking is neither a straightforward function of the plaid's constituent sinusoidal components nor of the periodicity of the luminance beats between components. These results cause problems for the notion that, even for simple stimuli, detection and discrimination are based on the outputs of channels tuned to limited ranges of spatial frequency and orientation, even if a limited set of nonlinear interactions between these channels is allowed.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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The pedestal effect with a pulse train and its constituent sinusoids

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

Twenty-Sixth Annual Interdisciplinary Conference, 2001 (poster)

Abstract
Curves showing "threshold" contrast for detecting a signal grating as a function of the contrast of a masking grating of the same orientation, spatial frequency, and phase show a characteristic improvement in performance at masker contrasts near the contrast threshold of the unmasked signal. Depending on the percentage of correct responses used to define the threshold, the best performance can be as much as a factor of three better than the unmasked threshold obtained in the absence of any masking grating. The result is called the pedestal effect (sometimes, the dipper function). We used a 2AFC procedure to measure the effect with harmonically related sinusoids ranging from 2 to 16 c/deg - all with maskers of the same orientation, spatial frequency and phase - and with masker contrasts ranging from 0 to 50%. The curves for different spatial frequencies are identical if both the vertical axis (showing the threshold signal contrast) and the horizontal axis (showing the masker contrast) are scaled by the threshold contrast of the signal obtained with no masker. Further, a pulse train with a fundamental frequency of 2 c/deg produces a curve that is indistinguishable from that of a 2-c/deg sinusoid despite the fact that at higher masker contrasts, the pulse train contains at least 8 components all of them equally detectable. The effect of adding 1-D spatial noise is also discussed.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Modeling the Dynamics of Individual Neurons of the Stomatogastric Networks with Support Vector Machines

Frontzek, T., Gutzen, C., Lal, TN., Heinzel, H-G., Eckmiller, R., Böhm, H.

Abstract Proceedings of the 6th International Congress of Neuroethology (ICN'2001) Bonn, abstract 404, 2001 (poster)

Abstract
In small rhythmic active networks timing of individual neurons is crucial for generating different spatial-temporal motor patterns. Switching of one neuron between different rhythms can cause transition between behavioral modes. In order to understand the dynamics of rhythmically active neurons we analyzed the oscillatory membranpotential of a pacemaker neuron and used different neural network models to predict dynamics of its time series. In a first step we have trained conventional RBF networks and Support Vector Machines (SVMs) using gaussian kernels with intracellulary recordings of the pyloric dilatator neuron in the Australian crayfish, Cherax destructor albidus. As a rule SVMs were able to learn the nonlinear dynamics of pyloric neurons faster (e.g. 15s) than RBF networks (e.g. 309s) under the same hardware conditions. After training SVMs performed a better iterated one-step-ahead prediction of time series in the pyloric dilatator neuron with regard to test error and error sum. The test error decreased with increasing number of support vectors. The best SVM used 196 support vectors and produced a test error of 0.04622 as opposed to the best RBF with 0.07295 using 26 RBF-neurons. In pacemaker neuron PD the timepoint at which the membranpotential will cross threshold for generation of its oscillatory peak is most important for determination of the test error. Interestingly SVMs are especially better in predicting this important part of the membranpotential which is superimposed by various synaptic inputs, which drive the membranpotential to its threshold.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]