Effects of Spatial and Temporal Contiguity on the Acquisition of Spatial Information

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 12 (NIPS 1999)

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Thea Ghiselli-Crippa, Paul Munro


Spatial information comes in two forms: direct spatial information (for example, retinal position) and indirect temporal contiguity information, since objects encountered sequentially are in general spatially close. The acquisition of spatial information by a neural network is investigated here. Given a spatial layout of several objects, networks are trained on a prediction task. Networks using temporal sequences with no direct spa(cid:173) tial information are found to develop internal representations that show distances correlated with distances in the external layout. The influence of spatial information is analyzed by providing direct spatial information to the system during training that is either consistent with the layout or inconsistent with it. This approach allows examination of the relative contributions of spatial and temporal contiguity.