Perceptual Binding of Sensory Events: The Inclusive Characteristics Model

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A conceptual model of a perceptual system is proposed, in which each neural level forms characteristics inclusive of the data held in the underlying level. As a result, the stimulus field can be expressed as a hierarchically ordered set of overlying sensory characteristics: from sensory features to higher inclusive characteristics binding sensory data to form whole images and scenes. Specific patterns of electrical activity reflecting inclusive characteristics are transmitted via reverse projections from the upper neural levels to the lower. This forms a downward excitation transmission cascade, stimulating those neural structures whose signals correspond to the higher inclusive characteristics of the given perceptual act. It is demonstrated that these mechanisms are in good agreement with experimental data obtained from psychological and neurophysiological studies and may support the binding of sensory events at all perceptual levels.

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