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Chapter 5:
Multisensor Fusion
Suppose that you are visiting your Aunt Florence. You get hungry and meander into the kitchen. Sitting on the table is a plate of fish. It looks appealing, but something is a bit funky about it. So you poke it, smell it, and taste a tiny bit. It is tasty, but still doesn’t seem quite right. Then comes the clincher. Your aunt yells from the next room: “Don’t eat the fish!” The human brain is an excellent example of a multisensor fusion system. Fusion of data from your five senses kept you from eating the spoiled fish. But how did all five senses focus on the same object? This is called the binding problem. All of the features and traits of the fish, in all of the sensor data, must have been segregated from all of the properties of other nearby objects and the background. Then the features must have been associated with the concept of “fish.” Binding occurs in many different parts of the brain. There is no single algorithmic solution. Binding is a class of problems: binding over visual space, segregating one sound from others, cross-modal binding associating the sound with the visual percept, and so on. There are at least seven different types of binding.
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