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Prototype memory and attention mechanisms for few shot image generation

Tianqin Li · Zijie Li · Andrew Luo · Harold Rockwell · Amir Barati Farimani · Tai Lee

Keywords: [ deep learning ] [ neuroscience ]


Recent discoveries indicate that the neural codes in the primary visual cortex (V1) of macaque monkeys are complex, diverse and sparse. This leads us to ponder the computational advantages and functional role of these “grandmother cells." Here, we propose that such cells can serve as prototype memory priors that bias and shape the distributed feature processing within the image generation process in the brain. These memory prototypes are learned by momentum online clustering and are utilized via a memory-based attention operation, which we define as Memory Concept Attention (MoCA). To test our proposal, we show in a few-shot image generation task, that having a prototype memory during attention can improve image synthesis quality, learn interpretable visual concept clusters, as well as improve the robustness of the model. Interestingly, we also find that our attentional memory mechanism can implicitly modify the horizontal connections by updating the transformation into the prototype embedding space for self-attention. Insofar as GANs can be seen as plausible models for reasoning about the top-down synthesis in the analysis-by-synthesis loop of the hierarchical visual cortex, our findings demonstrate a plausible computational role for these “prototype concept" neurons in visual processing in the brain.

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