Incorporating intrinsic suppression in deep neural networks captures dynamics of adaptation in neurophysiology and perception

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Science Advances  14 Oct 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 42, eabd4205
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd4205


Adaptation is a fundamental property of sensory systems that can change subjective experiences in the context of recent information. Adaptation has been postulated to arise from recurrent circuit mechanisms or as a consequence of neuronally intrinsic suppression. However, it is unclear whether intrinsic suppression by itself can account for effects beyond reduced responses. Here, we test the hypothesis that complex adaptation phenomena can emerge from intrinsic suppression cascading through a feedforward model of visual processing. A deep convolutional neural network with intrinsic suppression captured neural signatures of adaptation including novelty detection, enhancement, and tuning curve shifts, while producing aftereffects consistent with human perception. When adaptation was trained in a task where repeated input affects recognition performance, an intrinsic mechanism generalized better than a recurrent neural network. Our results demonstrate that feedforward propagation of intrinsic suppression changes the functional state of the network, reproducing key neurophysiological and perceptual properties of adaptation.

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