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Volume 6 Issue 2
Mar.  2019

IEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica

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Article Contents
Xiaohua Wang and Haibin Duan, "Hierarchical Visual Attention Model for Saliency Detection Inspired by Avian Visual Pathways," IEEE/CAA J. Autom. Sinica, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 540-552, Mar. 2019. doi: 10.1109/JAS.2017.7510664
 Citation: Xiaohua Wang and Haibin Duan, "Hierarchical Visual Attention Model for Saliency Detection Inspired by Avian Visual Pathways," IEEE/CAA J. Autom. Sinica, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 540-552, Mar. 2019.

# Hierarchical Visual Attention Model for Saliency Detection Inspired by Avian Visual Pathways

##### doi: 10.1109/JAS.2017.7510664
Funds:

Natural Science Foundation of China 61425008

Natural Science Foundation of China 61333004

Natural Science Foundation of China 61273054

• Visual attention is a mechanism that enables the visual system to detect potentially important objects in complex environment. Most computational visual attention models are designed with inspirations from mammalian visual systems. However, electrophysiological and behavioral evidences indicate that avian species are animals with high visual capability that can process complex information accurately in real time. Therefore, the visual system of the avian species, especially the nuclei related to the visual attention mechanism, are investigated in this paper. Afterwards, a hierarchical visual attention model is proposed for saliency detection. The optic tectum neuron responses are computed and the self-information is used to compute primary saliency maps in the first hierarchy. The "winner-take-all" network in the tecto-isthmal projection is simulated and final saliency maps are estimated with the regularized random walks ranking in the second hierarchy. Comparison results verify that the proposed model, which can define the focus of attention accurately, outperforms several state-of-the-art models. This study provides insights into the relationship between the visual attention mechanism and the avian visual pathways. The computational visual attention model may reveal the underlying neural mechanism of the nuclei for biological visual attention.

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