Visual space is not cognitively impenetrable

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (3):366-367 (1999)
Cognitive impenetrability (CI) of a large part of visual perception is taken for granted by those of us in the field of computational vision who attempt to recover descriptions of space using geometry and statistics as tools. These tools clearly point out, however, that CI cannot extend to the level of structured descriptions of object surfaces, as Pylyshyn suggests. The reason is that visual space – the description of the world inside our heads – is a nonEuclidean curved space. As a consequence, the only alternative for a vision system is to develop several descriptions of space–time; these are representations of reduced intricacy and capture partial aspects of objective reality. As such, they make sense in the context of a class of tasks/actions/plans/purposes, and thus cannot be cognitively impenetrable.
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