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Consistency of Border-Ownership Cells across Artificial Stimuli, Natural Stimuli, and Stimuli with Ambiguous Contours

Hesse, Janis K. and Tsao, Doris Y. (2016) Consistency of Border-Ownership Cells across Artificial Stimuli, Natural Stimuli, and Stimuli with Ambiguous Contours. Journal of Neuroscience, 36 (44). pp. 11338-11349. ISSN 0270-6474. PMCID PMC6601962. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1857-16.2016.

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Segmentation and recognition of objects in a visual scene are two problems that are hard to solve separately from each other. When segmenting an ambiguous scene, it is helpful to already know the present objects and their shapes. However, for recognizing an object in clutter, one would like to consider its isolated segment alone to avoid confounds from features of other objects. Border-ownership cells (Zhou et al., 2000) appear to play an important role in segmentation, as they signal the side-of-figure of artificial stimuli. The present work explores the role of border-ownership cells in dorsal macaque visual areas V2 and V3 in the segmentation of natural object stimuli and locally ambiguous stimuli. We report two major results. First, compared with previous estimates, we found a smaller percentage of cells that were consistent across artificial stimuli used previously. Second, we found that the average response of those neurons that did respond consistently to the side-of-figure of artificial stimuli also consistently signaled, as a population, the side-of-figure for borders of single faces, occluding faces and, with higher latencies, even stimuli with illusory contours, such as Mooney faces and natural faces completely missing local edge information. In contrast, the local edge or the outlines of the face alone could not always evoke a significant border-ownership signal. Our results underscore that border ownership is coded by a population of cells, and indicate that these cells integrate a variety of cues, including low-level features and global object context, to compute the segmentation of the scene.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Hesse, Janis K.0000-0003-0405-8632
Tsao, Doris Y.0000-0003-1083-1919
Additional Information:© 2016 the authors. Beginning six months after publication the Work will be made freely available to the public on SfN’s website to copy, distribute, or display under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license ( Received June 8, 2016; revised July 25, 2016; accepted Sept. 10, 2016. This work was supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Simons Foundation. We thank Pinglei Bao for help with stimulus creation and Nicole Schweers for technical support. Author contributions: J.K.H. and D.Y.T. designed research; J.K.H. performed research; J.K.H. analyzed data; J.K.H. and D.Y.T. wrote the paper. The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
Simons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:border-ownership; feedback; figure-ground; illusory contours; natural; segmentation
Issue or Number:44
PubMed Central ID:PMC6601962
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20161107-091032787
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Official Citation:Consistency of Border-Ownership Cells across Artificial Stimuli, Natural Stimuli, and Stimuli with Ambiguous Contours Janis K. Hesse, Doris Y. Tsao Journal of Neuroscience 2 November 2016, 36 (44) 11338-11349; DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1857-16.2016
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:71761
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:07 Nov 2016 19:24
Last Modified:08 Apr 2022 18:26

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