A Looming Spatial Localization Neural Network Inspired by MLG1 Neurons in the Crab Neohelice

Luan, Hao, Fu, Qingbing, Zhang, Yicheng , Hua, Mu, Chen, Shengyong and Yue, Shigang (2022) A Looming Spatial Localization Neural Network Inspired by MLG1 Neurons in the Crab Neohelice. Frontiers in Neuroscience . ISSN 1662-4548

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2021.787256

A Looming Spatial Localization Neural Network Inspired by MLG1 Neurons in the Crab Neohelice
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Similar to most visual animals, the crab Neohelice granulata relies predominantly on visual information to escape from predators, to track prey and for selecting mates. It, therefore, needs specialized neurons to process visual information and determine the spatial location of looming objects. In the crab Neohelice granulata, the Monostratified Lobula Giant type1 (MLG1) neurons have been found to manifest looming sensitivity with finely tuned capabilities of encoding spatial location information. MLG1s neuronal ensemble can not only perceive the location of a looming stimulus, but are also thought to be able to influence the direction of movement continuously, for example, escaping from a threatening, looming target in relation to its position. Such specific characteristics make the MLG1s unique compared to normal looming detection neurons in invertebrates which can not localize spatial looming. Modeling the MLG1s ensemble is not only critical for elucidating the mechanisms underlying the functionality of such neural circuits, but also important for developing new autonomous, efficient, directionally reactive collision avoidance systems for robots and vehicles. However, little computational modeling has been done for implementing looming spatial localization analogous to the specific functionality of MLG1s ensemble. To bridge this gap, we propose a model of MLG1s and their pre-synaptic visual neural network to detect the spatial location of looming objects. The model consists of 16 homogeneous sectors arranged in a circular field inspired by the natural arrangement of 16 MLG1s’ receptive fields to encode and convey spatial information concerning looming objects with dynamic expanding edges in different locations of the visual field. Responses of the proposed model to systematic real-world visual stimuli match many of the biological characteristics of MLG1 neurons.
The systematic experiments demonstrate that our proposed MLG1s model works effectively and robustly to perceive and localize looming information, which could be a promising candidate for intelligent machines interacting within dynamic environments free of collision. This study also sheds light upon a new type of neuromorphic visual sensor strategy that can extract looming objects with locational information in a quick and reliable manner.

Keywords:motion-sensitive neuron, MLG1, spatial localization, crab, Visual Motion Perception
Subjects:G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G730 Neural Computing
Divisions:College of Science > School of Computer Science
ID Code:49094
Deposited On:03 May 2022 14:20

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