Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972000 | Print ISBN: 9781412940818 | Online ISBN: 9781412972000| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Alex O. Holcombe
Objects have different features such as color, shape, sound, and smell. Some, such as color and sound, are represented separately from the instant they hit our sensory receptors. Other features, such as color and shape, are initially encoded together but subsequently analyzed by separate areas of the brain. Despite this separation, in perception the brain must represent which features belong to the same object. This is the binding problem . Any case of the brain representing as associated two features or stimuli that are initially represented separately can be called binding, but this entry focuses on a subset of these: the pairing of features that belong to a common object. A simple solution to the binding problem is to have a single neuron (or other representational unit) for each possible combination of features. However, considering that different feature dimensions such as color, shape, and texture may each have hundreds of ...