Chapter

Characteristics of Auditory and Visual Scenes

Stephen Handel

in Perceptual Coherence

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780195169645
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199786732 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195169645.003.0003
 Characteristics of Auditory and Visual Scenes

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If the goal of sensory systems is to maximize information transmission, there should be a match between the functioning of the sensory systems and the statistical properties of the objects in the environment. Analyses of the distribution of acoustical and visual energies indicate that they follow a power law, 1/f, so that there is a constant relationship between frequency and amplitude, namely equal power in all octave regions. To encode this distribution, the auditory and visual systems use cells that resemble Gabor functions that decorrelate local sensory energy to detect the redundancies such as continuous boundaries that signify objects. There is sparse coding so that only a small number of cells fire for any input and those cells minimize the uncertainty problem by trading frequency resolution with orientation or time resolution. The perceptual outcomes are combined with Bayesian prior probabilities to identify the most likely object.

Keywords: Bayesian prior probabilities; decorrelate; detection of redundancies; Gabor functions; power laws 1/f energy; sparse coding

Chapter.  20839 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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