A Unified Framework for the Joint Development of Eye Movements and Visual Perception

Bert Shi Hong Kong University of Science and Techology Abstract:

Rather than explicitly programming a robot, might it be possible to seed a robot with a minimal structure and allow it to learn how to behave in the environment intelligently, much in the same way a baby develops? As a first step towards such a system, we must have models of the development of perception, the robot's internal representation of the environment within the robot based on its sensory input, and the development of behavior, the generation of intelligent actions based upon the perceived environment. Past work has studied these two problems in isolation. However, this ignores the fact that behavior and sensory perception are mutually dependent. Sensory perception drives behavior, but behavior can also influence the development of sensory perception, by altering the statistics of the sensory input. Thus, it is likely that they develop simultaneously. But how should these two learning processes interact? What constraints do we need to put into place to ensure that the learning succeeds in generating intelligent behavior? I will describe joint work with Jochen Triesch at the Frankfurt Institute of Advanced Study, which addresses these problems by modeling the joint development of visual perception and the control of eye movements [1]. In particular, I will describe how the concept of efficient coding as originally proposed by Barlow [2], when extended to include the contribution of behavior, can be used to enable a robotic system to develop biologically plausible processing modules for image motion perception and stereo disparity perception, as well as control strategies for smooth pursuit and vergence eye movements. References

[1] Y. Zhao, C. Rothkopf, J. Triesch and B. E. Shi, “A Unified Model of the Joint Development of Disparity Selectivity and Vergence Control,” presented at the International Conference on Development and Learning, San Diego, CA, USA, Nov. 2012.

[2] H. Barlow, "Possible principles underlying the transformation of sensory messages" in Sensory Communication, MIT Press, 1961.