Body-form and body-pose recognition with a hierarchical model of the ventral stream
When learning to recognize a novel body shape, e.g., a panda bear, we are not misled by changes in its pose. A "jumping panda bear" is readily recognized, despite having no prior visual experience with the conjunction of these concepts. Likewise, a novel pose can be estimated in an invariant way, with respect to the actor's body shape. These body and pose recognition tasks require invariance to non-generic transformations that previous models of the ventral stream do not have. We show that the addition of biologically plausible, class-specific mechanisms associating previously-viewed actors in a range of poses enables a hierarchical model of object recognition to account for this human capability. These associations could be acquired in an unsupervised manner from past experience.