Ideal-Observer Models of Cue Integration

Michael S. Landy, Martin S. Banks and David C. Knill

in Sensory Cue Integration

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780195387247
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918379 | DOI:

Series: Computational Neuroscience Series

Ideal-Observer Models of Cue Integration

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This chapter provides a general introduction to the field of cue combination from the perspective of optimal cue integration. It works through a number of qualitatively different problems and illustrate how building ideal observers helps formulate the scientific questions that need to be answered in order to understand how the brain solves these problems. It begins with a simple example of integration leading to a linear model of cue integration. This is followed by a summary of a general approach to optimality: Bayesian estimation and decision theory. It then reviews situations in which realistic generative models of sensory data lead to nonlinear ideal-observer models. Subsequent sections review empirical studies of cue combination and issues they raise, as well as open questions in the field.

Keywords: cue combination; linear model; optimality; Bayesian estimation; decision theory; sensory data models; ideal-observer models

Chapter.  15407 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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