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This content will become publicly available on January 1, 2023

Title: Emergence of direction-selective retinal cell types in task-optimized deep learning models
Convolutional neural networks (CNNs), a class of deep learning models, have experienced recent success in modeling sensory cortices and retinal circuits through optimizing performance on machine learning tasks, otherwise known as task optimization. Previous research has shown task-optimized CNNs to be capable of providing explanations as to why the retina efficiently encodes natural stimuli and how certain retinal cell types are involved in efficient encoding. In our work, we sought to use task-optimized CNNs as a means of explaining computational mechanisms responsible for motion-selective retinal circuits. We designed a biologically constrained CNN and optimized its performance on a motion-classification task. We drew inspiration from psychophysics, deep learning, and systems neuroscience literature to develop a toolbox of methods to reverse engineer the computational mechanisms learned in our model. Through reverse engineering our model, we proposed a computational mechanism in which direction-selective ganglion cells and starburst amacrine cells, both experimentally observed retinal cell types, emerge in our model to discriminate among moving stimuli. This emergence suggests that direction-selective circuits in the retina are ecologically designed to robustly discriminate among moving stimuli. Our results and methods also provide a framework for how to build more interpretable deep learning models and how to understand them.
Authors:
; ;
Award ID(s):
1810758 2003830
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10324411
Journal Name:
Journal of computational biology
Volume:
29
Issue:
4
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
370-381
ISSN:
1066-5277
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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