A neurodynamic model of the interaction between color perception and color memory
Abstract The memory color effect and Spanish castle illusion are taken as evidence of the cognitive penetrability of vision. In the same manner, the successful decoding of color-related brain signals in functional neuroimaging studies suggests the retrieval of memory colors associated with a perceived gray object. Here, we offer an alternative account of these findings based on the design principles of adaptive resonance theory (ART). In ART, conscious perception is a consequence of a resonant state. Resonance emerges in a recurrent cortical circuit when a bottom-up spatial pattern agrees with the top-down expectation. When they do not agree, a special control mechanism is activated that resets the network and clears off erroneous expectation, thus allowing the bottom-up activity to always dominate in perception. We developed a color ART circuit and evaluated its behavior in computer simulations. The model helps to explain how traces of erroneous expectations about incoming color are eventually removed from the color perception, although their transient effect may be visible in behavioral responses or in brain imaging. Our results suggest that the color ART circuit, as a predictive computational system, is almost never penetrable, because it is equipped with computational mechanisms designed to constrain the impact of the top-down predictions on ongoing perceptual processing.