Ideal-Observer Models of Cue Integration

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

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSensory Cue Integration
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199918379
ISBN (Print)9780195387247
StatePublished - Sep 20 2012


  • Bayesian estimation
  • Cue combination
  • Decision theory
  • Ideal-observer models
  • Linear model
  • Optimality
  • Sensory data models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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