Probing Biological and Artificial Neural Networks with Task-dependent Neural Manifolds

Published: 20 Nov 2023, Last Modified: 07 Dec 2023CPAL 2024 (Proceedings Track) OralEveryoneRevisionsBibTeXCC BY 4.0
Keywords: Computational Neuroscience, Neural Manifolds, Neural Geometry, Representational Geometry, Biologically inspired vision models, Neuro-AI
TL;DR: Using manifold capacity theory and manifold alignment analysis to examine and compare representations from macaque's visual cortex and representations from DNNs trained by different objectives.
Abstract: In recent years, growth in our understanding of the computations performed in both biological and artificial neural networks has largely been driven by either low-level mechanistic studies or global normative approaches. However, concrete methodologies for bridging the gap between these levels of abstraction remain elusive. In this work, we investigate the internal mechanisms of neural networks through the lens of neural population geometry, aiming to provide understanding at an intermediate level of abstraction, as a way to bridge that gap. Utilizing manifold capacity theory (MCT) from statistical physics and manifold alignment analysis (MAA) from high-dimensional statistics, we probe the underlying organization of task-dependent manifolds in deep neural networks and neural recordings from the macaque visual cortex. Specifically, we quantitatively characterize how different learning objectives lead to differences in the organizational strategies of these models and demonstrate how these geometric analyses are connected to the decodability of task-relevant information. Furthermore, these metrics show that macaque visual cortex data are more similar to unsupervised DNNs in terms of geometrical properties such as manifold position and manifold alignment. These analyses present a strong direction for bridging mechanistic and normative theories in neural networks through neural population geometry, potentially opening up many future research avenues in both machine learning and neuroscience.
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Submission Number: 53