Invariant face and object recognition in the visual system

Prog Neurobiol. 1997 Feb;51(2):167-94. doi: 10.1016/s0301-0082(96)00054-8.


Neurophysiological evidence is described, showing that some neurons in the macaque temporal cortical visual areas have responses that are invariant with respect to the position, size and view of faces and objects, and that these neurons show rapid processing and rapid learning. A theory is then described of how such invariant representations may be produced in a hierarchically organized set of visual cortical areas with convergent connectivity. The theory proposes that neurons in these visual areas use a modified Hebb synaptic modification rule with a short-term memory trace to capture whatever can be captured at each stage that is invariant about objects as the object changes in retinal position, size, rotation and view. Simulations are then described which explore the operation of the architecture. The simulations show that such a processing system can build invariant representations of objects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Face
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*