Neural mechanisms of visual motion extrapolation.
Because neural processing takes time, the brain only has delayed access to sensory information. When localising moving objects this is problematic, as an object will have moved on by the time its position has been determined. Here, we consider predictive motion extrapolation as a fundamental delay-compensation strategy. From a population-coding perspective, we outline how extrapolation can be achieved by a forwards shift in the population-level activity distribution. We identify general mechanisms underlying such shifts, involving various asymmetries which facilitate the targeted 'enhancement' and/or 'dampening' of population-level activity. We classify these on the basis of their potential implementation (intra- vs inter-regional processes) and consider specific examples in different visual regions. We consider how motion extrapolation can be achieved during inter-regional signaling, and how asymmetric connectivity patterns which support extrapolation can emerge spontaneously from local synaptic learning rules. Finally, we consider how more abstract 'model-based' predictive strategies might be implemented. Overall, we present an integrative framework for understanding how the brain determines the real-time position of moving objects, despite neural delays.
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