Abstract: Many think attention needs an executive to allocate visual processing resources in the brain (and in machines). Although the cortex exhibits substantial plasticity, dynamic allocation of neurons seems outside its capability. Suppose instead that the processing structure is fixed, but can be ‘tuned’ to task needs. The only resource that can be allocated is time. But most believe that vision can be accomplished in only one feed-forward pass, that is, within a fixed amount of time. I will present several arguments to refute this. But how can this fixed cortical structure be used over periods of time longer than one feed-forward pass? I forward the proposal that by using multiple passes of the visual processing hierarchy, both bottom-up and top-down, and using task information to tune the processing prior to each pass, we can explain the different recognition behaviors that human vision exhibits. To accomplish this, four different kinds of binding processes are introduced and are tied directly to specific recognition tasks and their time course. The computational framework inherent in my Selective Tuning model of attention provides the necessary substrate for these tasks and several examples will be shown.
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