Visual processing acts as a prism, splitting visual information from the retinal image into separately processed features such as color, shape, and orientation.
Binding refers to the set of cognitive and neural mechanisms that re-integrate these features to create a holistic representation of the objects in the visual field.
The binding problem in vision refers to how this integration is achieved.
The binding problem, however, isn't a singular problem, but a constellation of interrelated problems.
The articles in this special issue of Visual Cognition cover three major types of binding, each of which may require a unique solution: The binding of features within objects, the relational binding among objects, and the binding between temporally related events.
Within these broad topics, articles consider the role of attention in feature binding, the representation of static and moving multi-feature objects, the binding of objects to scenes, binding processes involved in learning and long-term memory, the development of binding abilities, and binding of information between visual and non-visual memory systems.
Rather than disseminate conclusive solutions to these various instantiations of the binding problem, this collection of work describes the current state-of-the science, highlights the interconnections between the binding problems and the approaches taken to solve them, and outlines the critical issues that have yet to be resolved.
In this single volume readers will confront work with children, young adults, and patients, and work that uses traditional behavioural measures, eye movement recording, functional imaging, and transcranial magnetic stimulation.