Putting low-level vision into global context: Why vision cannot be reduced to basic circuits

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To cope with the complexity of vision, most models in neuroscience and computer vision are of hierarchical and feedforward nature. Low-level vision, such as edge and motion detection, is explained by basic low-level neural circuits, whose outputs serve as building blocks for more complex circuits computing higher level features such as shape and entire objects. There is an isomorphism between states of the outer world, neural circuits, and perception, inspired by the positivistic philosophy of the mind. Here, we show that although such an approach is conceptually and mathematically appealing, it fails to explain many phenomena including crowding, visual masking, and non-retinotopic processing.

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