Publications / Conference Poster

Retinal-inspired algorithms for detection of moving objects

Chance, Frances S.; Warrender, Christina E.

The retina plays an important role in animal vision - namely preprocessing visual information before sending it to the brain through the optic nerve. Understanding howthe retina does this is of particular relevance for development and design of neuromorphic sensors, especially those focused towards image processing. Our research focuses on examining mechanisms of motion processing in the retina. We are specifically interested in detection of moving targets under challenging conditions, specifically small or low-contrast (dim) targets amidst high quantities of clutter or distractor signals. In this paper we compare a classic motion-sensitive cell model, the Hassenstein-Reichardt model, to a model of the OMS (object motion-sensitive) cell, that relies primarily on change-detection, and describe scenarios for which each model is better suited. We also examine mechanisms, inspired by features of retinal circuitry, by which performance may be enhanced. For example, lateral inhibition (mediated by amacrine cells) conveys selectivity for small targets to the W3 ganglion cell - we demonstrate that a similar mechanism can be combined with the previously mentioned motion-processing cell models to select small moving targets for further processing.