Thursday, July 29, 2021

Sensor Fusion Problem

One of the mysteries of visual perception is how the information all binds together into a singular experience after raw sensory data is decoded. 

Light enters our retinas, and the optic nerve feeds information back to the visual cortex. After that, the signal follows neural pathways to various areas scattered throughout the brain.

For example, the dorsal stream interprets movement, while the ventral stream decodes information about shape, color and object recognitions.

In addition to the visual streams, other streams of sensory information arrive via sound and touch. Those signal pathways also appear distributed around the brain. 

For a long time, neuroscientists supposed that all the various streams of sensory impulses must converge or fuse together at a central location, but it doesn't happen that way. 

Given the scattered nature of that neuronal activity, how is it that we feel that our perception is a single experience? 

According to neuroscientist Jeff Hawley's new conceptual model of the brain, the various areas in the cortex arrive at a preliminary conclusion of what they're looking at. They appear to form a consensus in a manner very much like voting. To do that they don't need to be in the same place.

Read More:

Sensor Fusion on Wikipedia

A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins

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ozgur said...

nice article thank you

Susan Krzywicki said...

Totally weird. Thanks.

Timothy Bollenbaugh said...

James, correct me if I'm wrong (please!), but since no light actually enters between my ears then visual interpretation is an imaginary experience. And memory, priming, comprehension from within is also imaginary. Small wonder that both are superimposable depending on which is more weighted to an individual.

"Perception is always a composite of past (experience) and present (raw data)."

Maybe calling perception of reality imaginary, no matter how realistic & sound, sounds ridiculous, but well, I can't imagine it any other way. Again, I'd appreciate your view and correction.