Gibsonian representations and connectionist symbol-processing: Prospects for unification

Psychological Research 52:243-52 (1990)
Not long ago the standard view in cognitive science was that representations are symbols in an internal representational system or language of thought and that psychological processes are computations defined over such representations. This orthodoxy has been challenged by adherents of functional analysis and by connectionists. Functional analysis as practiced by Marr is consistent with an analysis of representation that grants primacy to a stands for conception of representation. Connectionism is also compatible with this notion of representation; when conjoined with functional analysis, it provides a means of analyzing psychological systems in term of rules and representations without becoming committed to symbolism. Direct theorists, who rejected the orthodox symbolist conception of representation because it violated their strictures against cognitive mediational mechanisms, should find it possible to accept rules-and-representations and information-processing analyses of the mechanisms of information pickup couched in terms of functional analysis.
Keywords Gibson, J J  Marr, D  Computation in perception  Connectionism  Direct realism  Direct perceptual theories  Representatiion and symbols
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