An important contributor to the feeling of being present is the unity of one's perceptual experience. That is, the constellation of sensorial cues in a virtual environment must be in accord with some basic rules which, in the real world, govern the relationship between sensory events. A similar and long standing problem in neuroscience is how is it that the temporally and spatially segregated activity in neuronal ensembles is reassembled in order to generate a seamless conscious experience. This issue, which was first addressed by the Gestalt psychologists, is commonly referred to as the binding problem. In this paper we will discuss how the problem of binding is related to the problem of presence, and how the study of the neurophysiological substrates subserving this process may lead to an understanding of contextual relationships critical to generating presence in virtual environments.

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