Another thought, concerning the transform between the two minicolumn partitions, would it be possible to make a simple animation of how the processing of a very simple imput stream would look like? I understand we don’t know how this processing happens, but what would you idealy like it to be?
(I wish Matt was still with us. I’m sure he could make a great demo clip showing something like that).
So lets take an example of a dot moving in a straight line towards us but not completely into our vision axis. The dot moves from slightly above our horizon to slightly below, at the same time from slightly left to slightly right, and also from 2 meter away from us to 1 meter in front of us. Naturally, neither our head nor eye(s) move while this happens.
So I suppose there is one particular cell on our retina that will trigger only when the dot moves across it, and a somewhat larger array of cells that will fire for this particular change vector (top left to bottom right).
Sub question: I’m not even sure if it would matter if the dot moves towards us or moves away from us. Maybe that motion is inferred at another level in the hierarchy?
But for now, what would an ideal vector representation look like for the static input, and for the flow input?
The static (I guess) is simple. It would be a binary memory representing the one spot on the retina, and it would only be active when the dot moving towards us crosses that spot. Is this right?
Sub question 2: would a minicolumn be linked to only one retina spot, or would it make more sense to have several spots connected to the minicolumn. And if several, should they be adjacent spots or spread out over the retina? Would they all be inside the same flow receptive field?
The flow vector I have more trouble imagining. Since the receptive field is larger than for the static input, I guess it would be an area around the spot connected to the static input. Maybe circular, or elliptical? But when the dot moves across it, it would generate a non-binary value that would range between maximum if it represents flow in the exact axis the dot moves in, and zero if it moves orthogonally to it. Am I right to assume that there would be only one flow signal connected to our minicolumn?
And how would that flow value be represented? Is it a binary array, with more bits active the more the dot movement matches the axis our minicolumn represents. Or is it a single flashing bit where a higher frequency represents the matching axis?
Sorry if these are noob questions, but I think we should be clear what we are talking about. Often the biggest problem is communication. In my experience especially among engineers.