||Hierarchical Neural Representation of Dreamed Objects Revealed by Brain Decoding with Deep Neural Network Features
Horikawa, TomoyasuKamitani, Yukiyasu
Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience
112017-01-31 , Frontiers Media SA
Dreaming is generally thought to be generated by spontaneous brain activity during sleep with patterns common to waking experience. This view is supported by a recent study demonstrating that dreamed objects can be predicted from brain activity during sleep using statistical decoders trained with stimulus-induced brain activity. However, it remains unclear whether and how visual image features associated with dreamed objects are represented in the brain. In this study, we used a deep neural network (DNN) model for object recognition as a proxy for hierarchical visual feature representation, and DNN features for dreamed objects were analyzed with brain decoding of fMRI data collected during dreaming. The decoders were first trained with stimulus-induced brain activity labeled with the feature values of the stimulus image from multiple DNN layers. The decoders were then used to decode DNN features from the dream fMRI data, and the decoded features were compared with the averaged features of each object category calculated from a large-scale image database. We found that the feature values decoded from the dream fMRI data positively correlated with those associated with dreamed object categories at mid- to high-level DNN layers. Using the decoded features, the dreamed object category could be identified at above-chance levels by matching them to the averaged features for candidate categories. The results suggest that dreaming recruits hierarchical visual feature representations associated with objects, which may support phenomenal aspects of dream experience.