Auditory and visual scene analysis: an overview.

14 Jun 2018

We perceive the world as stable and composed of discrete objects even though auditory and visual inputs are often ambiguous owing to spatial and temporal occluders and changes in the conditions of observation. This raises important questions regarding where and how 'scene analysis' is performed in the brain. Recent advances from both auditory and visual research suggest that the brain does not simply process the incoming scene properties. Rather, top-down processes such as attention, expectations and prior knowledge facilitate scene perception. Thus, scene analysis is linked not only with the extraction of stimulus features and formation and selection of perceptual objects, but also with selective attention, perceptual binding and awareness. This special issue covers novel advances in scene-analysis research obtained using a combination of psychophysics, computational modelling, neuroimaging and neurophysiology, and presents new empirical and theoretical approaches. For integrative understanding of scene analysis beyond and across sensory modalities, we provide a collection of 15 articles that enable comparison and integration of recent findings in auditory and visual scene analysis.This article is part of the themed issue 'Auditory and visual scene analysis'.