Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Over successive stages, the visual system develops neurons that respond with view, size and position invariance to objects or faces. A number of computational models have been developed to explain how transform-invariant cells could develop in the visual system. However, a major limitation of computer modelling studies to date has been that the visual stimuli are typically presented one at a time to the network during training. In this paper, we investigate how vision models may self-organize when multiple stimuli are presented together within each visual image during training. We show that as the number of independent stimuli grows large enough, standard competitive neural networks can suddenly switch from learning representations of the multi-stimulus input patterns to representing the individual stimuli. Furthermore, the competitive networks can learn transform (e.g. position or view) invariant representations of the individual stimuli if the network is presented with input patterns containing multiple transforming stimuli during training. Finally, we extend these results to a multi-layer hierarchical network model (VisNet) of the ventral visual system. The network is trained on input images containing multiple rotating 3D objects. We show that the network is able to develop view-invariant representations of the individual objects.

Original publication




Journal article


Neural Netw

Publication Date





888 - 903


Action Potentials, Computer Simulation, Form Perception, Generalization (Psychology), Humans, Learning, Models, Neurological, Neural Networks (Computer), Neurons, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Photic Stimulation, Visual Pathways