Directionally Selective Complex Cells and the Computation of Motion Energy in Cat Visual Cortex

Robert C. Emerson, James R. Bergen, and Edward H. Adelson

Published in
Vision Research, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 203-218 (1992).
We applied a set of 1- and 2-bar tests to directionally selective (DS) complex cells in the cat's striate cortex, and compared the responses with those predicted by two computational models. Single-bar responses and 2-bar interactions produce distinctive patterns that are highly diagnostic. The observed responses are quite similar to those predicted by a basic (non-opponent) motion-energy model [Adelson & Bergen (1985) Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 2, 284-299]. However, they are not consistent with an opponent combination of energy models, nor are they consistent with any stage of the classic Reichardt model. In particular, the Reichardt model (as well as opponent combinations of energy models) predicts a separable space-time symmetry in the 2-bar interaction that is not observed in our measurements, while the non-opponent energy model predicts an inseparable, oriented interaction very similar to the measured cortical responses. Comparisons between model and measurements suggest possible mechanisms of spatial receptive-field organization and of nonlinear transformations.