A computer network closely modelled on part of the human brain is enabling new insights into the way our brains process moving images – and explains some perplexing optical illusions.
By using decades’ worth of data from human motion perception studies, researchers have trained an artificial neural network to estimate the speed and direction of image sequences.
The new system, called MotionNet, is designed to closely match the motion-processing structures inside a human brain. This has allowed the researchers to explore features of human visual processing that cannot be directly measured in the brain.
Their study, published in the Journal of Vision, uses the artificial system to describe how space and time information is combined in our brain to produce our perceptions, or misperceptions, of moving images.