Terms and Definitions

binding problem: the conceptual issue of how different features within a single modality are “bound”, or linked, to a single representation

cerebral cortex: the outermost layer of neural tissue in the cerebrum

color intrusion: an explanation of the behavioral response in which a color that was not present in a display is said to have been present

figure-ground: a Gestalt principle that refers to the perceptual phenomenon in which people automatically perceive an object as distinct from the background

heteromodal cortex: taking into account that “hetero” denotes different, and “modal” refers to modalities, this term refers to an area of cortex that is assumed or known to receive synaptic inputs from more than one modal system

illusory conjunction: a feature binding phenomenon in which different perceptual features present in an array are bound with the incorrect object

letter intrusion: an explanation of the behavioral response in which a letter that was not present in a display is said to have been present

neural network: a way of modeling cognition or other neural activity, involving a number of layers, each which is composed of nodes, which represent neurons. When a neural network is given input, information flows through the layers in order to create an output in the absence of any representation. Different nodes have different weightings and threshold values in order to discriminate between variations in input, and to increase the possible outcomes. Neural networks can “learn” discriminations through the use of back-propogation (Churchland & Churchland, XXXX)

neural synchrony: the phenomenon in which different neural nuclei (most probably thalamic) produce output that occurs in the same temporal pattern. This phenomenon is attributed with perceptual binding

nodes: units in a neural network that are representative of neurons

receptive fields: in terms of the visual system, the receptive field for a visual neuron is the area of the visual field to which a particular neuron responds. Thus, if a receptive field expands, more visual information is being processed by that cell, and if the receptive field shrinks, the cell is responding to a smaller portion of the visual field. Receptive fields exist in cells of all different modalities

supramodal cortex: regions of the cortex that receive projections from other regions which themselves receive inputs from more than one modal system

topographical representation: a representation which is characterized by differentiated locations in space. This does not necessarily refer to the topographical nature of the stimulus, but rather the way in which the stimulus is represented in different brain regions

Back to Main
Back to Feature Binding
Back to Overview of Sensory Systems
Back to Multi-modal Integration