Materials on the V1 saliency hypothesis and related experiments.

Note: Publications before late 2002 were published under name "Zhaoping Li (i.e., Li Z.)", and those after were published under name "Li Zhaoping (i.e., Zhaoping L.)". In order to avoid database errors and confusions, please cite each paper with its published author name.

Lectures and Presentations

Zhaoping L. (2013) A theory of the primary visual cortex (V1): predictions, experimental tests, and implications for future research , click here for a video (kindly provided by Udo Ernst) of this lecture, presented in the plenary symposium "Visual perception meets computational neuroscience" at European conference on visual perception (ECVP), Bremen, Germany, Aug. 27, 2013.

Zhaoping L. (2007) A bottom up visual saliency map in the primary visual cortex --- theory and its experimental tests
Updated from the Invited presentation at COSYNE (Computational and Systems Neuroscience) conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Feb. 2007

A video of a related lecture, titled "If only 1% of V1 is needed for efficient coding, what is the other 99% of it really doing?" , is presented in June 2010 in Hebrew University.

A pedagogic review of this topic can be found in chapter 5 of the textbook Understanding Vision: theory, models, and data ,2014, Oxford University Press, this chapter is available in the the sample chapters of the book.

Theory papers

Li Z. (2002) A saliency map in primary visual cortex
Published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences Vol 6. No.1. Jan. 2002, page 9-16 [abstract]

Zhaoping L. The primary visual cortex creates a bottom-up saliency map. In ``Neurobiology of Attention" Eds L. Itti, G. Rees and J.K. Tsotsos, Elsevier, 2005, Chapter 93, page 570-575

Li Z. (1999)
Contextual influences in V1 as a basis for pop out and asymmetry in visual search
In Proceedings of National Academy of Science, USA Volume 96, 1999. Page 10530-10535 [abstract]

Li Z. (1999) Visual segmentation by contextual influences via intracortical interactions in primary visual cortex Network: Computation in Neural Systems Volume 10, Number 2, May 1999. Page 187-212. [abstract]

Li Z. (1997)Primary cortical dynamics for visual grouping Presented at "Theoretical Aspects of Neural Computation" workshop, May 1997, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Published in "Theoretical aspects of neural computation" K.M. Wong, I. King, and D.Y. Yeung (eds) page 155-164. Springer-verlag January 1998 [abstract]

Experimental evidence or tests

Zhaoping L. and Zhe L. (2015) Primary visual cortex as a saliency map: a parameter-free prediction and its test by behavioral data PLoS Computational Biology,11(10):e1004375. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004375

Zhang X., Zhaoping L. , Zhou T. and Fang F. (2012) Neural activities in V1 create a bottom-up saliency map. Neuron, 73,183-192. You may also see Supplementary Information.

Zhaoping L. (2008) Attention capture by eye of origin singletons even without awareness --- a hallmark of a bottom-up saliency map in the primary visual cortex. Journal of Vision, 8(5):1, 1-18,, doi:10.1167/8.5.1. Click here for a follow-up paper on gaze capture by eye of origin singletons and its relationship with awareness.

Koene AR and Zhaoping L. (2007) Feature-specific interactions in salience from combined feature contrasts: Evidence for a bottom-up saliency map in V1. , Journal of Vision, 7(7):6, 1-14,, doi:10.1167/7.7.6

Zhaoping L. and May K.A. (2007) Psychophysical tests of the hypothesis of a bottom-up saliency map in primary visual cortex , Public Library of Science, Computational Biology 3(4):e62. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.0030062.

Zhaoping L. and Snowden RJ (2006) A theory of a saliency map in primary visual cortex (V1) tested by psychophysics of color-orientation interference in texture segmentation. , Visual Cognition 14(4/5/6/7/8):911-933

Zhaoping L., Guyader N., and Lewis A (2009) Relative contributions of 2D and 3D cues in a texture segmentation task, implications for the roles of striate and extrastriate cortex in attentional selection Journal of Vision, 9(11):20, 1-22,, doi:10.1167/9.11.20

See a full list of the predictions and their experimental tests.

Modeling of the neural circuits in V1 to understand how it achieves the saliency computation.

Li Z. (2001)
Computational design and nonlinear dynamics of a recurrent network model of the primary visual cortex or PDF version Neural Computation 13/8, p. 1749-1780 [abstract]

a complete list of papers on the V1 model

Further reading