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Jack L. Gallant; Contextual effects in V1 and V4 during natural vision. Journal of Vision 2002;2(10):58. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/2.10.58.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
During natural vision the distribution of spatial and temporal contextual cues is determined both by the statistical structure of natural scenes and by our natural visual behavior. It is likely that evolutionary pressures have optimized the visual system to exploit these informative cues. We examined this issue in area V1 by systematically manipulating both spatial and temporal context. Natural spatial context significantly increases information processing efficiency in V1, suggesting that the visual system is indeed optimized for natural vision. Furthermore, the filtering characteristics of V1 neurons are affected by natural context, particularly by the temporal structure of natural eye movements. Behavioral goals and task demands are also likely to influence visual processing during natural vision, particularly at intermediate and later processing stages. We examined this issue in area V4 using a naturalistic visual search task and found that the filtering properties of V4 neurons do appear to be influenced by task demands. Taken together these results suggest that the visual system exploits the spatial and temporal contextual cues prevailing during natural vision. Early stages of visual processing are optimized for processing the spatial and temporal statistics of natural scenes, while intermediate stages incorporate more specific information regarding behavioral relevance and task demands.
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