Yusuke Fujiwara, Yoichi Miyawaki, Yukiyasu Kamitani
Image representation based on image bases provides a framework for understanding neural representation of visual perception. A recent fMRI study has shown that arbitrary contrast-defined visual images can be reconstructed from fMRI activity patterns using a combination of multi-scale local image bases. In the reconstruction model, the mapping from an fMRI activity pattern to the contrasts of the image bases was learned from measured fMRI responses to visual images. But the shapes of the images bases were fixed, and thus may not be optimal for reconstruction. Here, we propose a method to build a reconstruction model in which image bases are automatically extracted from the measured data. We constructed a probabilistic model that relates the fMRI activity space to the visual image space via a set of latent variables. The mapping from the latent variables to the visual image space can be regarded as a set of image bases. We found that spatially localized, multi-scale image bases were estimated near the fovea, and that the model using the estimated image bases was able to accurately reconstruct novel visual images. The proposed method provides a means to discover a novel functional mapping between stimuli and brain activity patterns.