288 pp. per issue
6 x 9, illustrated
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Neural Computation

January 1, 2003, Vol. 15, No. 1, Pages 161-182
(doi: 10.1162/089976603321043748)
© 2002 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Developmental Constraints Aid the Acquisition of Binocular Disparity Sensitivities
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This article considers the hypothesis that systems learning aspects of visual perception may benefit from the use of suitably designed developmental progressions during training. We report the results of simulations in which four models were trained to detect binocular disparities in pairs of visual images. Three of the models were developmental models in the sense that the nature of their visual input changed during the course of training. These models received a relatively impoverished visual input early in training, and the quality of this input improved as training progressed. One model used a coarse-scale-to-multiscale developmental progression, another used a fine-scale-to-multiscale progression, and the third used a random progression. The final model was nondevelopmental in the sense that the nature of its input remained the same throughout the training period. The simulation results show that the two developmental models whose progressions were organized by spatial frequency content consistently outperformed the nondevelopmental and random developmental models. We speculate that the superior performance of these two models is due to two important features of their developmental progressions: (1) these models were exposed to visual inputs at a single scale early in training, and (2) the spatial scale of their inputs progressed in an orderly fashion from one scale to a neighboring scale during training. Simulation results consistent with these speculations are presented. We conclude that suitably designed developmental sequences can be useful to systems learning to detect binocular disparities. The idea that visual development can aid visual learning is a viable hypothesis in need of study.