By experimenting with animals and machine intelligence, a Hungarian-led research group can examine the nervous system processes of vision. Gergő Orbán, an international team at MTA Wigner Physical Research Center, won nearly one and a half million dollars for a three-year project.
“Psychology is known that not only the actual observation contributes to the interpretation of an image, but also to previous experience or contextual information. On the other hand, how the network of nerve cells performs the fusion of current and past information is unbreakable, “said Gergő Orbán, head of the research team at mta.hu.
The three-year project, “Fusion of evidence and expectation”, launched in May 2018, earned $ 1.35 million in the Human Frontiers Science Program in the field of interdisciplinary cooperation in the field of life sciences. The final committee awarded 31 out of 780 proposals support for the last eight years in Hungary.
The central assumption of the international co-operation project is that the features of fusion of current and prior information are already present in the early stage of brain processing, ie in the primary vision compartment.
Researchers conduct experiments in mice and monkeys in parallel, so they can explore the same phenomenon with very different perspectives and methods.
Foreign experiments, Hungarian data analysis
Experiments are carried out at the Ernst Strungmann Institute in Frankfurt and at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and the mathematical analysis of the vast data sets created by the project is conducted by two Hungarian researchers.
The research team, led by Gergő Orbán, within the MTA Wigner Physical Research Center, develops and applies the tools of population analysis to evaluate the measurements, while the University of Cambridge, Professor Matte Lengyel, constructs brain information processing models based on computer vision and machine learning concepts.
These can be used to test which calculations are the ones that the brain actually performs to complete the fusion.
“The development of machine intelligence gives us new inspirations and new tools in order to understand one of our most important cognitive abilities and vision. Linking experiments on monkeys and mice reveals common analysis and modeling techniques or universal principles or reveals alternative strategies: both options are an important lesson for our image of human and machine intelligence, “said Gergő Orbán.
mta.hu, Origo / Photo: LinkedIn