Review ArticlesVolume 6, Spring 2012

Low-Level Visual Processing Allows Humans to React to Animate Objects: Binding Memory as a Key Subsystem of Biological Motion Detection

Abstract

We review the literature to date on biological motion detection and its important prerequisite, human binding memory. Binding memory is the system for combining features like shape, color and size into coherent visual objects, and tracking these objects through time in short-term memory. This in turn makes possible biological motion detection, which is crucial to a wide range of human social activity. Recent experiments have shown that binding memory is available from birth, declines with old age, and is improved by emotional arousal. Furthermore, binding memory has been shown to be disturbed in neurological disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. These results promise to contribute to a greater understanding of biological motion detection in the future.