Technical Program

Paper Detail

Paper: PS-2B.23
Session: Poster Session 2B
Location: H Fl├Ąche 1.OG
Session Time: Sunday, September 15, 17:15 - 20:15
Presentation Time:Sunday, September 15, 17:15 - 20:15
Presentation: Poster
Publication: 2019 Conference on Cognitive Computational Neuroscience, 13-16 September 2019, Berlin, Germany
Paper Title: Convolutional neural networks performing a visual search task show attention-like limits on accuracy when trained to generalize across multiple search stimuli
Manuscript:  Click here to view manuscript
License: Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Authors: David Nicholson, Astrid Prinz, Emory University, United States
Abstract: What limits our ability to find what we are looking for in the cluttered noisy world? To investigate this, cognitive scientists have long used visual search. In spite of hundreds of studies, it remains unclear how to relate effects found using the discrete item display search task to computations in the visual system. A separate thread of research has studied the visual system of humans and other primates using convolutional neural networks (CNNs) as models. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that training CNNs to perform tasks such as image classification causes them to learn representations similar to those used by the visual system. These studies raise the question of whether CNNs that have learned such representations behave similarly to humans performing other vision-based tasks. Here we address this by measuring the behavior of CNNs trained for image classification while they perform the discrete item display search task. We first show how a fine-tuning approach often used to adapt pre-trained CNNs to new tasks can produce models that show human-like limitations on this task. However we then demonstrate that we can greatly reduce these effects by changing training,without changing the learned representations. Lastly we show that accuracy is not impaired when single networks are trained to discriminate multiple types of visual search stimuli. Based on these findings, we suggest that CNNs are not necessarily subject to the same limitations as the primate visual system.