Comparison of Object Recognition Behavior in Human and Monkey.

TitleComparison of Object Recognition Behavior in Human and Monkey.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsRajalingham R, Schmidt K, DiCarlo JJ
JournalThe Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Date Published2015 Sep 2

Although the rhesus monkey is used widely as an animal model of human visual processing, it is not known whether invariant visual object recognition behavior is quantitatively comparable across monkeys and humans. To address this question, we systematically compared the core object recognition behavior of two monkeys with that of human subjects. To test true object recognition behavior (rather than image matching), we generated several thousand naturalistic synthetic images of 24 basic-level objects with high variation in viewing parameters and image background. Monkeys were trained to perform binary object recognition tasks on a match-to-sample paradigm. Data from 605 human subjects performing the same tasks on Mechanical Turk were aggregated to characterize "pooled human" object recognition behavior, as well as 33 separate Mechanical Turk subjects to characterize individual human subject behavior. Our results show that monkeys learn each new object in a few days, after which they not only match mean human performance but show a pattern of object confusion that is highly correlated with pooled human confusion patterns and is statistically indistinguishable from individual human subjects. Importantly, this shared human and monkey pattern of 3D object confusion is not shared with low-level visual representations (pixels, V1+; models of the retina and primary visual cortex) but is shared with a state-of-the-art computer vision feature representation. Together, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that rhesus monkeys and humans share a common neural shape representation that directly supports object perception.

Alternate JournalJ. Neurosci.

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