Learning to perceive coherent objects


Object segregation in a visual scene is a complex perceptual process that relies on the integration of multiple cues. The task is computationally challenging, and even the best performing models fall significantly short of human performance. Infants initially have a surprisingly impoverished set of segregation cues and their ability to perform object segregation in static images is severely limited. Major questions that arise are therefore how the rich set of useful cues is learned, and what initial capacities make this learning possible. Here we present a computational model that initially incorporates only two basic capacities known to exist at an early age: the grouping of image regions by common motion and the detection of motion discontinuities. The model then learns significant aspects of object segregation in static images in an entirely unsupervised manner by observing videos of objects in motion. Implications of the model to infant learning and to the future development of object segregation models are discussed.

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