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Definition

Feature detection

Feature detection is the activation of neurons in the cortex by visual stimuli of specific shapes or patterns.

Psychologists David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel won the Nobel prize in 1981 for their discovery that many neurons in the cortex are extraordinary specialized, being activated only by visual stimuli of the particular shape or pattern-a process known as feature detection. They found that some cells are activated only by lines of a particular width, shape or orientation. Other cells are activated only by moving, as opposed to stationary, stimuli.

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