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Annual Review of Vision Science

Jan J Koenderink, Andrea J van Doorn, Johan Wagemans
Pictorial relief is a quality of visual awareness that happens when one looks into (as opposed to at) a picture. It has no physical counterpart of a geometrical nature. It takes account of cues, mentally identified in the tonal gradients of the physical picture-pigments distributed over a planar substrate. Among generally recognized qualities of relief are color, pattern, texture, shape, and depth. This review focuses on geometrical properties, the spatial variation of depth. To be aware of an extended quality like relief implies a "depth" dimension, a nonphysical spatial entity that may smoothly vary in a surface-like manner...
September 15, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Paola Binda, Maria Concetta Morrone
The perceptual consequences of eye movements are manifold: Each large saccade is accompanied by a drop of sensitivity to luminance-contrast, low-frequency stimuli, impacting both conscious vision and involuntary responses, including pupillary constrictions. They also produce transient distortions of space, time, and number, which cannot be attributed to the mere motion on the retinae. All these are signs that the visual system evokes active processes to predict and counteract the consequences of saccades. We propose that a key mechanism is the reorganization of spatiotemporal visual fields, which transiently increases the temporal and spatial uncertainty of visual representations just before and during saccades...
September 15, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Ye Sun, Lois E H Smith
The retina is one of the most metabolically active tissues in the body, consuming high levels of oxygen and nutrients. A well-organized ocular vascular system adapts to meet the metabolic requirements of the retina to ensure visual function. Pathological conditions affect growth of the blood vessels in the eye. Understanding the neuronal biological processes that govern retinal vascular development is of interest for translational researchers and clinicians to develop preventive and interventional therapeutics for vascular eye diseases that address early drivers of abnormal vascular growth...
September 15, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Robert H Wurtz
Our vision depends upon shifting our high-resolution fovea to objects of interest in the visual field. Each saccade displaces the image on the retina, which should produce a chaotic scene with jerks occurring several times per second. It does not. This review examines how an internal signal in the primate brain (a corollary discharge) contributes to visual continuity across saccades. The article begins with a review of evidence for a corollary discharge in the monkey and evidence from inactivation experiments that it contributes to perception...
September 15, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
John E Dowling
I was drawn into research in George Wald's laboratory at Harvard, where as an undergraduate and graduate student, I studied vitamin A deficiency and dark adaptation. A chance observation while an assistant professor at Harvard led to the major research of my career-to understand the functional organization of vertebrate retinas. I started with a retinal circuit analysis of the primate retina with Brian Boycott and intracellular retinal cell recordings in mudpuppies with Frank Werblin. Subsequent pharmacology studies with Berndt Ehinger primarily with fish focused on dopamine and neuromodulation...
September 15, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
James H Elder
The human visual system reliably extracts shape information from complex natural scenes in spite of noise and fragmentation caused by clutter and occlusions. A fast, feedforward sweep through ventral stream involving mechanisms tuned for orientation, curvature, and local Gestalt principles produces partial shape representations sufficient for simpler discriminative tasks. More complete shape representations may involve recurrent processes that integrate local and global cues. While feedforward discriminative deep neural network models currently produce the best predictions of object selectivity in higher areas of the object pathway, a generative model may be required to account for all aspects of shape perception...
September 15, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Wei Wei
Visual motion on the retina activates a cohort of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). This population activity encodes multiple streams of information extracted by parallel retinal circuits. Motion processing in the retina is best studied in the direction-selective circuit. The main focus of this review is the neural basis of direction selectivity, which has been investigated in unprecedented detail using state-of-the-art functional, connectomic, and modeling methods. Mechanisms underlying the encoding of other motion features by broader RGC populations are also discussed...
September 15, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Bevil R Conway
Inferior temporal cortex (IT) is a key part of the ventral visual pathway implicated in object, face, and scene perception. But how does IT work? Here, I describe an organizational scheme that marries form and function and provides a framework for future research. The scheme consists of a series of stages arranged along the posterior-anterior axis of IT, defined by anatomical connections and functional responses. Each stage comprises a complement of subregions that have a systematic spatial relationship. The organization of each stage is governed by an eccentricity template, and corresponding eccentricity representations across stages are interconnected...
September 15, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Shin'ya Nishida, Takahiro Kawabe, Masataka Sawayama, Taiki Fukiage
Visual motion processing can be conceptually divided into two levels. In the lower level, local motion signals are detected by spatiotemporal-frequency-selective sensors and then integrated into a motion vector flow. Although the model based on V1-MT physiology provides a good computational framework for this level of processing, it needs to be updated to fully explain psychophysical findings about motion perception, including complex motion signal interactions in the spatiotemporal-frequency and space domains...
September 15, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Andrea Tacchetti, Leyla Isik, Tomaso A Poggio
Recognizing the people, objects, and actions in the world around us is a crucial aspect of human perception that allows us to plan and act in our environment. Remarkably, our proficiency in recognizing semantic categories from visual input is unhindered by transformations that substantially alter their appearance (e.g., changes in lighting or position). The ability to generalize across these complex transformations is a hallmark of human visual intelligence, which has been the focus of wide-ranging investigation in systems and computational neuroscience...
September 15, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Christoph Witzel, Karl R Gegenfurtner
Color has been scientifically investigated by linking color appearance to colorimetric measurements of the light that enters the eye. However, the main purpose of color perception is not to determine the properties of incident light, but to aid the visual perception of objects and materials in our environment. We review the state of the art on object colors, color constancy, and color categories to gain insight into the functional aspects of color perception. The common ground between these areas of research is that color appearance is tightly linked to the identification of objects and materials and the communication across observers...
September 15, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Eyal Seidemann, Wilson S Geisler
A long-term goal of visual neuroscience is to develop and test quantitative models that account for the moment-by-moment relationship between neural responses in early visual cortex and human performance in natural visual tasks. This review focuses on efforts to address this goal by measuring and perturbing the activity of primary visual cortex (V1) neurons while nonhuman primates perform demanding, well-controlled visual tasks. We start by describing a conceptual approach-the decoder linking model (DLM) framework-in which candidate decoding models take neural responses as input and generate predicted behavior as output...
September 15, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Ione Fine, Ji-Min Park
Early blindness causes fundamental alterations of neural function across more than 25% of cortex-changes that span the gamut from metabolism to behavior and collectively represent one of the most dramatic examples of plasticity in the human brain. The goal of this review is to describe how the remarkable behavioral and neuroanatomical compensations demonstrated by blind individuals provide insights into the extent, mechanisms, and limits of human brain plasticity.
September 15, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Helen H Yang, Thomas R Clandinin
Motion in the visual world provides critical information to guide the behavior of sighted animals. Furthermore, as visual motion estimation requires comparisons of signals across inputs and over time, it represents a paradigmatic and generalizable neural computation. Focusing on the Drosophila visual system, where an explosion of technological advances has recently accelerated experimental progress, we review our understanding of how, algorithmically and mechanistically, motion signals are first computed.
September 15, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Yaoda Xu
Visual information processing contains two opposite needs. There is both a need to comprehend the richness of the visual world and a need to extract only pertinent visual information to guide thoughts and behavior at a given moment. I argue that these two aspects of visual processing are mediated by two complementary visual systems in the primate brain-specifically, the occipitotemporal cortex (OTC) and the posterior parietal cortex (PPC). The role of OTC in visual processing has been documented extensively by decades of neuroscience research...
September 15, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Serge O Dumoulin, Tomas Knapen
Receptive fields are a core property of cortical organization. Modern neuroimaging allows routine access to visual population receptive fields (pRFs), enabling investigations of clinical disorders. Yet how the underlying neural circuitry operates is controversial. The controversy surrounds observations that measurements of pRFs can change in healthy adults as well as in patients with a range of ophthalmological and neurological disorders. The debate relates to the balance between plasticity and stability of the underlying neural circuitry...
September 15, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Thomas A Reh, Robert Hindges
The small RNA regulatory molecules called microRNAs (miRNAs) play key roles in the development of most organisms. The expression of many different miRNAs has been described in the developing and mature vertebrate retina. The ability of miRNAs to regulate a diversity of messenger RNA targets allows them to have effects on many different developmental processes, but the functions of only a few miRNAs have been documented to date. Developmental transitions between cell states appear to be particularly sensitive to miRNA loss of function, as evidenced by specific miRNA knockdowns or from global perturbations in miRNA levels (e...
September 15, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
John O'Brien, Stewart A Bloomfield
Electrical synaptic transmission via gap junctions underlies direct and rapid neuronal communication in the central nervous system. The diversity of functional roles played by electrical synapses is perhaps best exemplified in the vertebrate retina, in which gap junctions are expressed by each of the five major neuronal types. These junctions are highly plastic; they are dynamically regulated by ambient illumination and circadian rhythms acting through light-activated neuromodulators. The networks formed by electrically coupled neurons provide plastic, reconfigurable circuits positioned to play key and diverse roles in the transmission and processing of visual information at every retinal level...
September 15, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
William N Grimes, Adree Songco-Aguas, Fred Rieke
We know a good deal about the operation of the retina when either rod or cone photoreceptors provide the dominant input (i.e., under very dim or very bright conditions). However, we know much less about how the retina operates when rods and cones are coactive (i.e., under intermediate lighting conditions, such as dusk). Such mesopic conditions span 20-30% of the light levels over which vision operates and encompass many situations in which vision is essential (e.g., driving at night). These lighting conditions are challenging because rod and cone signals differ substantially: Rod responses are nearing saturation, while cone responses are weak and noisy...
September 15, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Jens Kremkow, Jose-Manuel Alonso
The thalamocortical pathway is the main route of communication between the eye and the cerebral cortex. During embryonic development, thalamocortical afferents travel to L4 and are sorted by receptive field position, eye of origin, and contrast polarity (i.e., preference for light or dark stimuli). In primates and carnivores, this sorting involves numerous afferents, most of which sample a limited region of the binocular field. Devoting abundant thalamocortical resources to process a limited visual field has a clear advantage: It allows many stimulus combinations to be sampled at each spatial location...
September 15, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
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