Form Constant Visualization – Type I
Form constants are archetypical visual patterns generated by noise in the visual cortex which is then twisted by the wiring between retina and brain. Type I form constants were described as “tunnels” by Kluver, and postulated to be generated by the non-contoured roll noise pattern described by Cowan and Ermentrout. I decided to visualize this model in higher resolution to further explore the generated forms. All of the following use sinusoidal noise to approximate visual cortex noise for the first half of the video, and then show the transformed result of the mind’s eye for the latter half of the video. The direction of travel of noise across the complex plane can be shown to produce three form constant subtypes.
Sinusoidal noise traveling along the imaginary axis produces a tunnel effect.
Sinusoidal noise traveling along the real axis produces a ripple effect.
Sinusoidal noise traveling in any direction other than an axis produces a spiral.
Note that all of the previous effects are simply a single sinusoidal noise function in a selected direction. If multiple sinusoidal functions are layered in linear superposition, more complex and visually appealing patterns form.
This examples uses four linearly superimposed sinusoidal noise functions with random wavelength and orientation parameters.