Sensory Adaptation within a Bayesian Framework for Perception

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 18 (NIPS 2005)

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Alan A. Stocker, Eero Simoncelli


We extend a previously developed Bayesian framework for perception to account for sensory adaptation. We first note that the perceptual ef- fects of adaptation seems inconsistent with an adjustment of the inter- nally represented prior distribution. Instead, we postulate that adaptation increases the signal-to-noise ratio of the measurements by adapting the operational range of the measurement stage to the input range. We show that this changes the likelihood function in such a way that the Bayesian estimator model can account for reported perceptual behavior. In particu- lar, we compare the model’s predictions to human motion discrimination data and demonstrate that the model accounts for the commonly observed perceptual adaptation effects of repulsion and enhanced discriminability.