Binding of Object Representations by Synchronous Cortical Dynamics Explains Temporal Order and Spatial Pooling Data
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A key problem in cognitive science concerns how the brain binds together parts of an object into a coherent visual object representation. One difficulty that this binding process needs to overcome is that different parts of an object may be processed by the brain at different rates and may thus become desynchronized. Perceptual framing is a mechanism that resynchronizes cortical activities corresponding to the same retinal object. A neural network model based on cooperation between oscillators via feedback from a subsequent processing stage is presented that is able to rapidly resynchronize desynchronized featural activities. Model properties help to explain perceptual framing data, including psychophysical data about temporal order judgments. These cooperative model interactions also simulate data concerning the reduction of threshold contrast as a function of stimulus length. The model hereby provides a unified explanation of temporal order and threshold contrast data as manifestations of a cortical binding process that can rapidly resynchronize image parts which belong together in visual object representations.