Evaluating the role of feedback regulation in recognition processing
BMC Neuroscience volume 11, Article number: P54 (2010)
How the brain is able to perform recognition, especially of simultaneous patterns, is not clear. There are enormous amounts top-down feedback found within sensory processing regions of the brain which play a central role. However, these types of connections generate nonlinear dynamics, which are difficult to analyze mathematically.
Simplifying the analysis, it is hypothesized that the purpose of feedback is to regulate or conserve of information. The computational basis of conservation of information is: that each input should only pass a fixed amount of information than to the next layer. If an input activates the output layer too vigorously, its information is ambiguous (because may outputs are using it) and it is quieted. If an input does not activate the output layer enough, its information is boosted. Figure 1.
Regulatory feedback networks that conserve information display unparalleled performance with simultaneous patterns. Figure 2 compares performance of various recognition mechanisms, presented with simultaneous patterns.
Such regulation offers an explanation to why salience is an integral part of recognition and the configuration required offers an explanation to how it is generated from a neural perspective.
Thus it is argued that feedback regulation and conservation of information are essential in enabling the brain to process simulations patterns.
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Achler, T. Evaluating the role of feedback regulation in recognition processing. BMC Neurosci 11 (Suppl 1), P54 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2202-11-S1-P54