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The Costs and Benefits of Goal-Directed Attention in Deep Convolutional Neural Networks

Luo, X; Roads, BD; Love, BC; (2021) The Costs and Benefits of Goal-Directed Attention in Deep Convolutional Neural Networks. Computational Brain & Behavior 10.1007/s42113-021-00098-y. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

People deploy top-down, goal-directed attention to accomplish tasks, such as finding lost keys. By tuning the visual system to relevant information sources, object recognition can become more efficient (a benefit) and more biased toward the target (a potential cost). Motivated by selective attention in categorisation models, we developed a goal-directed attention mechanism that can process naturalistic (photographic) stimuli. Our attention mechanism can be incorporated into any existing deep convolutional neural networks (DCNNs). The processing stages in DCNNs have been related to ventral visual stream. In that light, our attentional mechanism incorporates top-down influences from prefrontal cortex (PFC) to support goal-directed behaviour. Akin to how attention weights in categorisation models warp representational spaces, we introduce a layer of attention weights to the mid-level of a DCNN that amplify or attenuate activity to further a goal. We evaluated the attentional mechanism using photographic stimuli, varying the attentional target. We found that increasing goal-directed attention has benefits (increasing hit rates) and costs (increasing false alarm rates). At a moderate level, attention improves sensitivity (i.e. increases d′) at only a moderate increase in bias for tasks involving standard images, blended images and natural adversarial images chosen to fool DCNNs. These results suggest that goal-directed attention can reconfigure general-purpose DCNNs to better suit the current task goal, much like PFC modulates activity along the ventral stream. In addition to being more parsimonious and brain consistent, the mid-level attention approach performed better than a standard machine learning approach for transfer learning, namely retraining the final network layer to accommodate the new task.

Type: Article
Title: The Costs and Benefits of Goal-Directed Attention in Deep Convolutional Neural Networks
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s42113-021-00098-y
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s42113-021-00098-y
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Goal-directed attention, Selective attention, Deep learning, Object recognition
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10122891
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