Simulation of neural contour mechanisms: from simple to end-stopped cells

Friedrich Heitger, Lukas Rosenthaler, Rüdiger Von Der Heydt, Esther Peterhans, Olaf Kübler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

207 Scopus citations


Early stages of visual form processing were modelled by simulating cortical simple, complex and end-stopped cells. The computation involves (1) convolution of the image with even and odd symmetrical orientation selective filters (S-operators), (2) combination of even and odd filter outputs to a local energy measure (C-operator), (3) "differentiation" of the C-operator maps along the respective orientation (single and double end-stopped operators) and (4) determination of local maxima ("key-points") of the combined end-stopped operator activity. While S- and C-operators are optimised for the representation of 1-D features such as edges and lines, the end-stopped operator responses at the key-points make explicit 2-D signal variations such as line ends, corners and segments of strong curvature. The theoretical need for this complementary representation is discussed. The model was tested on grey-valued images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)963-981
Number of pages19
JournalVision Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Complex cells
  • Computational model
  • Contour
  • Early vision
  • End-stopped cells
  • Simple cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems

Cite this