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Recognition of Abstract Objects Via Neural Oscillators: Interaction Among Topological Organization, Associative Memory and Gamma Band Synchronization

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3 Author(s)
Mauro Ursino ; Dept. of Electron., Comput. Sci. & Syst., Univ. of Bologna, Bologna ; Elisa Magosso ; Cristiano Cuppini

Synchronization of neural activity in the gamma band is assumed to play a significant role not only in perceptual processing, but also in higher cognitive functions. Here, we propose a neural network of Wilson-Cowan oscillators to simulate recognition of abstract objects, each represented as a collection of four features. Features are ordered in topological maps of oscillators connected via excitatory lateral synapses, to implement a similarity principle. Experience on previous objects is stored in long-range synapses connecting the different topological maps, and trained via timing dependent Hebbian learning (previous knowledge principle). Finally, a downstream decision network detects the presence of a reliable object representation, when all features are oscillating in synchrony. Simulations performed giving various simultaneous objects to the network (from 1 to 4), with some missing and/or modified properties suggest that the network can reconstruct objects, and segment them from the other simultaneously present objects, even in case of deteriorated information, noise, and moderate correlation among the inputs (one common feature). The balance between sensitivity and specificity depends on the strength of the Hebbian learning. Achieving a correct reconstruction in all cases, however, requires ad hoc selection of the oscillation frequency. The model represents an attempt to investigate the interactions among topological maps, autoassociative memory, and gamma-band synchronization, for recognition of abstract objects.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 2 )