Saturday, July 9, 2011

"Why is Binding Necessary?"

In the text, Sensation and Perception, the question was posed as to why binding is necessary. Binding is defined as the process by which features - color, form, location, and motion - are combined to create our perception of a coherent object. It goes on to explain that if a person were to observe a ball rolling this would activate multiple regions of the brain since different regions of the brain are responsible for perceiving different qualities. The medial temporal cortex perceives movement, cells respond to the ball's shape in the inferotemporal cortex, and cells sensitive to color are activated in other regions of the brain. Each of these various regions of the brain are responsible for perceiving individual qualities. Binding allows the observer to experience an integrated perception of the ball, with all of these components occurring together (Goldstein 2010). There are theories that support binding taking place at behavioral and physiological levels.
There are two stages of processing something visually, preattentive stage and focused attention stage. In the preattentive stage we process something visually without being aware of it. As the text goes on to explain, the preattentive stage does not depend on a person's attention, and allows us to perceive individual qualities - color, orientation, and location. In the focused attention stage the features observed are combined to perceive the whole object. This is linked to physiology because it causes activity in the regions of the brain associated with what (color and form) and where - location and motion. Focused attention is necessary for binding because without it features associated with one object may incorrectly become associated with another, known as illusory conjunction.
Binding is important and interesting because allows us to perceive objects and images as a whole. Rather than looking at a picture and only seeing it as colors and shapes we process it and view it as a picture of a person or place, we can even view an image and perceive motion in a still image. An artist that is a personal favorite of mine is Alex Grey. He uses his knowledge of anatomy and displays it in his art. His works include images of activities experienced in life - kissing, copulating, and birth. I find it interesting that in Copulating you can perceive a man inside of a woman. The visual and brain processes that occur to make this possible highlights how advanced our ability to perceive is, and fortunately allows us to enjoy beautiful images such as the works of Alex Grey.

No comments:

Post a Comment