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In this paper, we propose a general framework for fusing bottom-up segmentation with top-down object behavior classification over an image sequence. This approach is beneficial for both tasks, since it enables them to cooperate so that knowledge relevant to each can aid in the resolution of the other, thus enhancing the final result. In particular, classification offers dynamic probabilistic priors to guide segmentation, while segmentation supplies its results to classification, ensuring that they are consistent both with prior knowledge and with new image information. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our framework via a particular implementation for a hand gesture recognition application. The prior models are learned from training data using principal components analysis and they adapt dynamically to the content of new images. Our experimental results illustrate the robustness of our joint approach to segmentation and behavior classification in challenging conditions involving occlusions of the target object before a complex background.