home - publications - software - MDP email address

Beyond Simple Cells:
Probabilistic models for visual cortical processing

Workshop held at NIPS 2007, Whistler, December 7

Organizers: Richard Turner, Pietro Berkes, and Maneesh Sahani

Workshop description:

The goal of the workshop is to assess the success of computational models for cortical processing based on probabilistic models and to suggest new directions for future research. Models for simple cells are now well established; how can the field progress beyond them?

We will review important questions in the field through both theoretical and experimental lenses. We have an invited panel of experimentalists to provide the latter with the hope of inspiring new research directions of greater general neuroscientific interest.

More precisely, the issues to be discussed include:

Modelers will present their current work in short talks. The experimentalists, on the other hand, will form a panel of experts which will drive the discussion, bringing their perspective into play, and constructively expose discrepancies with biology.

Through this process, the aim is to attack the main list of questions above, and determine which aspects of the vision problem would especially benefit from a stronger collaboration between modelers and experimentalists. In addition we will have a poster session in which attendees will be able to present state of the art work.


A panel composed of three leading experimentalists, Dario Ringach, Jozsef Fiser, and Andreas Tolias, will drive discussion at the end of each talk.

Morning session: 7:30am-10:30am

7:30am Introductory remarks on behalf of the modelers, M. Sahani

7:40am Introductory remarks on behalf of the experimentalists, J. Fiser

7:50am Building and testing multi-stage models for cortical processing, E. Simoncelli

8:30am Natural image statistics and contextual visual processing, O. Schwartz

9:10am coffee break

9:30am Learning to generalize over regions of natural images, M. Lewicki

10:10am poster session

Afternoon session: 3:30pm-6:30pm

3:30pm Can Markov random fields tell us anything about visual receptive fields?, M. Black

4:10pm Self-taught learning via unsupervised discovery of structure, A. Ng

4:50pm coffee break

5:10pm What the other 85% of V1 is doing, B. Olshausen [slides.pdf]

5:50pm discussion

Talk and poster abstracts