A Critical Comparison of Models for Orientation and Ocular Dominance Columns in the Striate Cortex

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 7 (NIPS 1994)

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E. Erwin, K. Obermayer, K. Schulten


More than ten of the most prominent models for the structure and for the activity dependent formation of orientation and ocu(cid:173) lar dominance columns in the striate cort(>x have been evaluated. We implemented those models on parallel machines, we extensively explored parameter space, and we quantitatively compared model predictions with experimental data which were recorded optically from macaque striate cortex. In our contribution we present a summary of our results to date. Briefly, we find that (i) despite apparent differences, many models are based on similar principles and, consequently, make similar pre(cid:173) dictions, (ii) certain "pattern models" as well as the developmental "correlation-based learning" models disagree with the experimen(cid:173) tal data, and (iii) of the models we have investigated, "competitive Hebbian" models and the recent model of Swindale provide the best match with experimental data.

1 Models and Data

The models for the formation and structure of orientation and ocular dominance columns which we have investigated are summarized in table 1. Models fall into two categories: "Pattern models" whose aim is to achieve a concise description of the observed patterns and "developmental models" which are focussed on the pro-


E. Erwin, K. Obermayer, K. Schulten

Class Pattern Models Models