Despite variations in appearance we robustly recognize objects. Neuronal populations responding to objects presented under varying conditions form object manifolds and hierarchically organized visual areas are thought to untangle pixel intensities into linearly decodable object representations. However, the associated changes in the geometry of object manifolds along the cortex remain unknown. Using home cage training we showed that mice are capable of invariant object recognition. We simultaneously recorded the responses of thousands of neurons to measure the information about object identity available across the visual cortex and found that lateral visual areas LM, LI and AL carry more linearly decodable object identity information compared to other visual areas. We applied the theory of linear separability of manifolds, and found that the increase in classification capacity is associated with a decrease in the dimension and radius of the object manifold, identifying features of the population code that enable invariant object coding.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience