An unsupervised learning model of neural plasticity: Orientation selectivity in goggle-reared kittens

Vision Res. 2007 Oct;47(22):2868-77. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2007.07.023. Epub 2007 Sep 11.


The selectivities of neurons in primary visual cortex are often considered to be adapted to the statistics of natural images. Accordingly, simple cell-like tuning emerges when unsupervised learning models that seek sparse representations of input probabilities are trained on natural scenes. However, orientation tuning develops before structured vision starts, rendering these previous results moot as models of activity-dependent development. A more stringent examination of such models comes from experiments demonstrating altered neural response properties in goggle-reared kittens. We show that an unsupervised learning model of cortical responsivity accounts well for the dramatic effects of stimulus driven development during goggle-rearing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Orientation / physiology
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Sensory Deprivation / physiology*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology