Task-dependent attention allocation through uncertainty minimization in deep recurrent generative models
In2019 Conference on Cognitive Computational Neuroscience, pp. 1022-1025
Conference on Cognitive Computational Neuroscience (Berlin, Germany, 13-16 September 2019)
Article in monograph or in proceedings
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SW OZ DCC AI
2019 Conference on Cognitive Computational Neuroscience
SubjectCognitive artificial intelligence
Allocating visual attention through saccadic eye movements is a key ability of intelligent agents. Attention is both influenced through bottom-up stimulus properties as well as top-down task demands. The interaction of these two attention mechanisms is not yet fully understood. A parsimonious reconciliation posits that both processes serve the minimization of predictive uncertainty. We propose a recurrent generative neural network model that predicts a visual scene based on foveated glimpses. The model shifts its attention in order to minimize the uncertainty in its predictions. We show that the proposed model produces naturalistic eye-movements focusing on salient stimulus regions. Introducing the additional task of classifying the stimulus, modulates the saccade patterns and enables effective image classification. Given otherwise equal conditions, we show that different task requirements cause the model to focus on distinct, task-relevant regions. The results provide evidence that uncertainty minimization could be a fundamental mechanisms for the allocation of visual attention.
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