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NB & CNS Seminar - Gabriel Kreiman | Tuesday, April 4, 2023 - 4 pm

Tuesday, April 4, 2023
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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NB & CNS Seminar

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Reception -3:30

Seminar - 4 pm

Chen 100


Gabriel Kreiman, Professor

Harvard Medical School

Title: What do visual neurons really want?


What information do neurons along the ventral visual cortex represent? Exhaustively examining all possible images is empirically impossible. Therefore, investigators have used a combination of intuitions derived from previous studies, natural stimulus statistics, and serendipitous findings to investigate stimulus preferences. Recent advances in computational models of vision allow us to scrutinize neural coding properties in real time and in an unbiased and systematic fashion. We use a generative deep neural network as a vast and diverse hypothesis space, and a genetic algorithm searches this space for stimuli guided by neuron preferences. We show that this approach can rapidly generate synthetic images that trigger high activations, both in model units and real neurons. This approach forces us to revisit how we think about neural coding in the ventral visual cortex. I will also discuss successes of computer vision models and also major limitations of current models of visual processing in their ability to account for behavior and neuronal responses in the cortex.