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Science of Perception

Assistant editor: Charles Bakker (University of Western Ontario)
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  1. Human Vision Reconstructs Time to Satisfy Causal Constraints.Christos Bechlivanidis, Marc J. Buehner, Emma C. Tecwyn, D. A. Lagnado, Christoph Hoerl & Teresa McCormack - forthcoming - Psychological Science.
    The goal of perception is to infer the most plausible source of sensory stimulation. Unisensory perception of temporal order, however, appears to require no inference, since the order of events can be uniquely determined from the order in which sensory signals arrive. Here we demonstrate a novel perceptual illusion that casts doubt on this intuition: in three studies (N=607) the experienced event timings are determined by causality in real-time. Adult observers viewed a simple three-item sequence ACB, which is typically remembered (...)
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  2. The Integrity of Motivated Vision: A Reply to Gilchrist, 2020.Kent Harber, Jeanine Stefanucci & Dustin Stokes - forthcoming - Perception.
    In the September 2020 edition of Perception, Alan Gilchrist published an editorial entitled “The Integrity of Vision” (Gilchrist, 2020). In it, Gilchrist critiques motivated perception research. His main points are as follows: (1) Motivated perception is compromised by experimental demand: Results do not actually show motivated perception but instead reflect subjects’ desires to comply with inferred predictions. (2) Motivated perception studies use designs that make predictions obvious to subjects. These transparent designs conspire with experimental demand to yield confirmatory but compromised (...)
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  3. Perception as a Multi-Stage Process: A Reidian Account.Marina Folescu - 2021 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 19 (1):57-74.
    The starting point of this paper is Thomas Reid's anti-skepticism: our knowledge of the external world is justified. The justificatory process, in his view, starts with and relies upon one of the main faculties of the human mind: perception. Reid's theory of perception has been thoroughly studied, but there are some missing links in the explanatory chain offered by the secondary literature. In particular, I will argue that we do not have a complete picture of the mechanism of perception of (...)
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  4. Through the Eyes of the Expert: Evaluating Holistic Processing in Architects Through Gaze-Contingent Viewing.Spencer Ivy, Taren Rohovit, Mark Lavelle, Lace Padilla, Jeanine Stefanucci, Dustin Stokes & Trafton Drew - 2021 - Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 1:1-9.
    Studies in the psychology of visual expertise have tended to focus on a limited set of expert domains, such as radiology and athletics. Conclusions drawn from these data indicate that experts use parafoveal vision to process images holistically. In this study, we examined a novel, as-of-yet-unstudied class of visual experts—architects—expecting similar results. However, the results indicate that architects, though visual experts, may not employ the holistic processing strategy observed in their previously studied counterparts. Participants (n = 48, 24 architects, 24 (...)
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  5. Individuating the Senses of ‘Smell’: Orthonasal Versus Retronasal Olfaction.Keith A. Wilson - 2021 - Synthese:1-26.
    The dual role of olfaction in both smelling and tasting, i.e. flavour perception, makes it an important test case for philosophical theories of sensory individuation. Indeed, the psychologist Paul Rozin claimed that olfaction is a “dual sense”, leading some scientists and philosophers to propose that we have not one, but two senses of smell: orthonasal and retronasal olfaction. In this paper I consider how best to understand Rozin’s claim, and upon what grounds one might judge there to be one or (...)
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  6. Social-Eyes: Rich Perceptual Contents and Systemic Oppression.Dylan Ludwig - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (4):939-954.
    There is ongoing philosophical debate about the kinds of properties that are represented in visual perception. Both “rich” and “thin” accounts of perceptual content are concerned with how prior assumptions about the world influence the construction of perceptual representations. However, the idea that biased assumptions resulting from oppressive social structures contribute to the contents of perception has been largely neglected historically in this debate in the philosophy of perception. I draw on neurobiological evidence of the role of the amygdala in (...)
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  7. Is Iconic Memory Iconic?Jake Quilty‐Dunn - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (3):660-682.
    Short‐term memory in vision is typically thought to divide into at least two memory stores: a short, fragile, high‐capacity store known as iconic memory, and a longer, durable, capacity‐limited store known as visual working memory (VWM). This paper argues that iconic memory stores icons, i.e., image‐like perceptual representations. The iconicity of iconic memory has significant consequences for understanding consciousness, nonconceptual content, and the perception–cognition border. Steven Gross and Jonathan Flombaum have recently challenged the division between iconic memory and VWM by (...)
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  8. Pictorial Experience and Perceptual Activity.John Zeimbekis - 2018 - In Jérôme Pelletier & Alberto Voltolini (eds.), The Pleasure of Pictures. Pictorial Experience and Aesthetic Appreciation. New York: Routledge: pp. 93-124.
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  9. Perceptual Co-Reference.Michael Rescorla - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (3):569-589.
    The perceptual system estimates distal conditions based upon proximal sensory input. It typically exploits information from multiple cues across and within modalities: it estimates shape based upon visual and haptic cues; it estimates depth based upon convergence, binocular disparity, motion parallax, and other visual cues; and so on. Bayesian models illuminate the computations through which the perceptual system combines sensory cues. I review key aspects of these models. Based on my review, I argue that we should posit co-referring perceptual representations (...)
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  10. The Nature of Perceptual Constancies.Peter Schulte - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Perceptual constancies have been studied by psychologists for decades, but in recent years, they have also become a major topic in the philosophy of mind. One reason for this surge of interest is Tyler Burge’s (2010) influential claim that constancy mechanisms mark the difference between perception and mere sensitivity, and thereby also the difference between organisms with genuine representational capacities and ‘mindless’ beings. Burge’s claim has been the subject of intense debate. It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that we cannot (...)
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  11. Temporal Binding, Causation and Agency: Developing a New Theoretical Framework.Christoph Hoerl, Sara Lorimer, Teresa McCormack, David A. Lagnado, Emma Blakey, Emma C. Tecwyn & Marc J. Buehner - 2020 - Cognitive Science 44 (e12843):1-27.
    In temporal binding, the temporal interval between one event and another, occurring some time later, is subjectively compressed. We discuss two ways in which temporal binding has been conceptualized. In studies showing temporal binding between a voluntary action and its causal consequences, such binding is typically interpreted as providing a measure of an implicit or pre-reflective “sense of agency”. However, temporal binding has also been observed in contexts not involving voluntary action, but only the passive observation of a cause-effect sequence. (...)
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  12. Multisensory Perception as an Associative Learning Process.Kevin Connolly - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5:1095.
    Suppose that you are at a live jazz show. The drummer begins a solo. You see the cymbal jolt and you hear the clang. But in addition seeing the cymbal jolt and hearing the clang, you are also aware that the jolt and the clang are part of the same event. Casey O’Callaghan (forthcoming) calls this awareness “intermodal feature binding awareness.” Psychologists have long assumed that multimodal perceptions such as this one are the result of a subpersonal feature binding mechanism (...)
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  13. Rethinking Perception.C. A. Skarda - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (1-2):177-190.
    Walter J. Freeman possessed one of the most innovative neuroscientific minds of the twentieth century. His theoretical interpretation of his research, while at times difficult to grasp, provides an important stimulus for re-evaluating so-called enactive theories of perception. Specifically, reconsideration of the dynamic that gives rise to both a perceiver and what is perceived leads to a perspective on perception that returns thinking to its ancient roots and opens a new perspective on the nature of perception.
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  14. Microgenetic Theory of Perception, Memory, and the Mental State: A Brief Review.J. W. Brown - 2017 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (11-12):52-70.
    For over a century and certainly since single-unit recordings in the 1960s the theory of perception that has dominated thinking and research, with implications for the understanding of all other cognitive domains, entails a neocortical process of progressive assembly from V-1 to V-4 leading to object-construction and secondary spatial updating and recognition. In recent years, however, difficulties with the theory have emerged in neurophysiological research though a compelling alternative has not been forcefully argued. It is the purpose of this paper (...)
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  15. Conceptual Short-Term Memory: A Missing Part of the Mind?H. Shevlin - 2017 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (7-8):163-188.
    In debates in philosophy and cognitive science concerning short-term memory mechanisms and perceptual experience, most discussion has focused on the working memory and the various forms of sensory memory such as iconic memory. In this paper, I present a summary of some evidence for a proposed further form of memory termed conceptual short-term memory. I go on to outline some of the ways in which this additional distinctive sort of short-term memory might be of relevance to ongoing philosophical debates, specifically (...)
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  16. Toward a Unified Account of Hallucinations.J. Dokic - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (7-8):82-99.
  17. Precognition: The Only Form of Psi?S. B. Marwaha & E. C. May - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (3-4):76-100.
    Based on empirical evidence we discuss the nature of precognition, and address the questions whether retrocausation/ precognition violates causality, whether precognition implies determinism, the questions of actual or probable futures, from where does the information arise, and other observed properties of precognition. This is followed by a discussion on the primacy of precognition by examining the various categories of psi. In our analysis, precognition is most likely the only form of psi, subsuming within it clairvoyance, telepathy, micro-PK, and the survival (...)
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  18. A Representationalist Reading of Kantian Intuitions.Ayoob Shahmoradi - 2021 - Synthese 198 (3):2169-2191.
    There are passages in Kant’s writings according to which empirical intuitions have to be (a) singular, (b) object-dependent, and (c) immediate. It has also been argued that empirical intuitions (d) are not truth-apt, and (e) need to provide the subject with a proof of the possibility of the cognized object. Having relied on one or another of the a-e constraints, the naïve realist readers of Kant have argued that it is not possible for empirical intuitions to be representations. Instead they (...)
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  19. Perceptual Learning: The Flexibility of the Senses.Kevin Connolly - 2019 - OUP USA.
    Experts from wine tasters to radiologists to bird watchers have all undergone perceptual learning-long-term changes in perception that result from practice or experience. Philosophers have been discussing such cases for centuries, from the 14th-century Indian philosopher Vedanta Desika to the 18th-century Scottish philosopher Thomas Reid, and into contemporary times. -/- This book uses recent evidence from psychology and neuroscience to show that perceptual learning is genuinely perceptual, rather than post-perceptual. It also offers a taxonomy for classifying cases in the philosophical (...)
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  20. Perceptual Capacities.Susanna Schellenberg - 2019 - In Dena Shottenkirk & Steven Gouveia (eds.), Perception, Cognition, and Aesthetics. London: Routledge. pp. 137 - 169.
    Despite their importance in the history of philosophy and in particular in the work of Aristotle and Kant, mental capacities have been neglected in recent philosophical work. By contrast, the notion of a capacity is deeply entrenched in psychology and the brain sciences. Driven by the idea that a cognitive system has the capacity it does in virtue of its internal components and their organization, it is standard to appeal to capacities in cognitive psychology. The main benefit of invoking capacities (...)
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  21. Unconscious Perception Reconsidered.Ian Phillips - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (4):471-514.
    Most contemporary theorists regard the traditional thesis that perception is essentially conscious as just another armchair edict to be abandoned in the wake of empirical discovery. Here I reconsider this dramatic departure from tradition. My aim is not to recapture our prelapsarian confidence that perception is inevitably conscious (though much I say might be recruited to that cause). Instead, I want to problematize the now ubiquitous belief in unconscious perception. The paper divides into two parts. Part One is more purely (...)
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  22. Transitivity of Visual Sameness.Błażej Skrzypulec - 2020 - Synthese 197 (6):2695-2719.
    The way in which vision represents objects as being the same despite movement and qualitative changes has been extensively investigated in contemporary psychology. However, the formal properties of the visual sameness relation are still unclear, for example, whether it is an identity-like, equivalence relation. The paper concerns one aspect of this problem: the transitivity of visual sameness. Results obtained by using different experimental paradigms are analysed, in particular studies using streaming/bouncing stimuli, multiple object tracking experiments and investigations concerning object-specific preview (...)
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  23. Being Hungry Affects Oral Size Perception.Parker Crutchfield - 2018 - I-Perception 9 (3).
    Oral size perception is not veridical, and there is disagreement on whether this non-veridicality tends to underestimate or overestimate size. Further, being hungry has been shown to affect oral size perception. In the present study, we investigated the effect of hunger on oral size perception. Overall, being hungry had a small but significant effect on oral size perception and seemed to support that oral size perception tends to underestimate the size of objects. Both hungry and sated participants tended to underestimate (...)
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  24. Experience and Content: Consequences of a Continuum Theory.W. Martin Davies - 1993 - Dissertation,
    This thesis is about experiential content: what it is; what kind of account can be given of it. I am concerned with identifying and attacking one main view - I call it the inferentialist proposal. This account is central to the philosophy of mind, epistemology and philosophy of science and perception. I claim, however, that it needs to be recast into something far more subtle and enriched, and I attempt to provide a better alternative in these pages. The inferentialist proposal (...)
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  25. The Senses.Keith A. Wilson & Fiona Macpherson - 2018 - Oxford Bibliographies in Philosophy.
    Philosophers and scientists have studied sensory perception and, in particular, vision for many years. Increasingly, however, they have become interested in the nonvisual senses in greater detail and the problem of individuating the senses in a more general way. The Aristotelian view is that there are only five external senses—smell, taste, hearing, touch, and vision. This has, by many counts, been extended to include internal senses, such as balance, proprioception, and kinesthesis; pain; and potentially other human and nonhuman senses. This (...)
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  26. Spatial Perception: The Perspectival Aspect of Perception.E. J. Green & Susanna Schellenberg - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (2):e12472.
    When we perceive an object, we perceive the object from a perspective. As a consequence of the perspectival nature of perception, when we perceive, say, a circular coin from different angles, there is a respect in which the coin looks circular throughout, but also a respect in which the coin's appearance changes. More generally, perception of shape and size properties has both a constant aspect—an aspect that remains stable across changes in perspective—and a perspectival aspect—an aspect that changes depending on (...)
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  27. Visual Reference and Iconic Content.Santiago Echeverri - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (4):761-781.
    Evidence from cognitive science supports the claim that humans and other animals see the world as divided into objects. Although this claim is widely accepted, it remains unclear whether the mechanisms of visual reference have representational content or are directly instantiated in the functional architecture. I put forward a version of the former approach that construes object files as icons for objects. This view is consistent with the evidence that motivates the architectural account, can respond to the key arguments against (...)
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  28. Functional Representation of Vision Within the Mind: A Visual Consciousness Model Based in 3D Default Space.Jerath Ravinder, Molly W. Crawford & Vernon A. Barnes - 2015 - Journal of Medical Hypotheses and Ideas 9:45-56.
    The human eyes and brain, which have finite boundaries, create a ‘‘virtual’’ space within our central nervous system that interprets and perceives a space that appears boundless and infinite. Using insights from studies on the visual system, we propose a novel fast processing mechanism involving the eyes, visual pathways, and cortex where external vision is imperceptibly processed in our brain in real time creating an internal representation of external space that appears as an external view. We introduce the existence of (...)
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  29. The Psychology of Perception: A Philosophical Examination of Gestalt Theory and Derivative Theories of Perception.John F. A. Taylor - 1958 - Journal of Philosophy 55 (2):77-81.
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  30. Visual Analogy: Consciousness as the Art of Connecting.Paul Bartha - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (4):580-584.
  31. Do Synesthetic Colors Grab Attention in Visual Search?Berit Brogaard, Kristian Marlow & Kevin Rice - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (4):701-714.
    Recent research on synesthesia has focused on how the condition may depend on selective attention, but there is a lack of consensus on whether selective attention is required to bind colors to their grapheme inducers. In the present study, we used a novel change detection paradigm to examine whether synesthetic colors guide the subject’s attention to the location of the inducer or whether selective attention is required to act as a unique feature during visual search. If synesthetic experiences are elicited (...)
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  32. Perceptual Global Processing and Hierarchically Organized Affordances – the Lack of Interaction Between Vision-for-Perception and Vision-for-Action.Edward Nęcka & Piotr Styrkowiec - 2012 - Polish Psychological Bulletin 43 (3):151-166.
    In visual information processing, two kinds of vision are distinguished: vision-for-perception related to the conscious identifi cation of objects, and vision-for-action that deals with visual control of movements. Neuroscience suggests that these two functions are performed by two separate brain neural systems - the ventral and dorsal pathways. Two experiments using behavioural measures were conducted with the objective of exploring any potential interaction between these two functions of vision. The aim was to combine in one task methods allowing for the (...)
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  33. The Innocent Eye: Why Vision is Not a Cognitive Process.Jonny Lee - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (7):1074-1076.
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  34. Seeing and Windows of Integration.Ned Block - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):29-39.
  35. Review of Bence Nanay-Aesthetics as Philosophy of Perception. [REVIEW]Dustin Stokes - 2016 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 8:00.
  36. Seeing Music Performance: Visual Influences on Perception and Experience.William Forde Thompson, Phil Graham & Frank A. Russo - 2005 - Semiotica 2005 (156):203-227.
    Drawing from ethnographic, empirical, and historical / cultural perspectives, we examine the extent to which visual aspects of music contribute to the communication that takes place between performers and their listeners. First, we introduce a framework for understanding how media and genres shape aural and visual experiences of music. Second, we present case studies of two performances, and describe the relation between visual and aural aspects of performance. Third, we report empirical evidence that visual aspects of performance reliably influence perceptions (...)
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  37. Visual Mechanisms. Biological Symposia, Vol. 7. Heinrich Klüver.Charles A. Kofoid - 1943 - Isis 34 (6):527-528.
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  38. Operationism and the Concept of Perception.Wendell R. Garner, Harold W. Hake & Charles W. Eriksen - 1956 - Psychological Review 63 (3):149-159.
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  39. A Biological View of Perception.Thaddeus L. Bolton - 1902 - Psychological Review 9 (6):537-548.
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  40. A Note on Visual Latency.Mathew Alpern - 1968 - Psychological Review 75 (3):260-264.
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  41. Gibson's Inspired but Latent Prelude to Visual Motion Perception.Randolph Blake - 1994 - Psychological Review 101 (2):324-328.
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  42. Towards a Better Understanding of Parallel Visual Processing in Human Vision: Evidence for Exhaustive Analysis of Visual Information.Simona Buetti, Deborah A. Cronin, Anna M. Madison, Zhiyuan Wang & Alejandro Lleras - 2016 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 145 (6):672-707.
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  43. Freezing Promotes Perception of Coarse Visual Features.Maria Lojowska, Thomas E. Gladwin, Erno J. Hermans & Karin Roelofs - 2015 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 144 (6):1080-1088.
  44. Is the Binding of Visual Features in Working Memory Resource-Demanding?Richard J. Allen, Alan D. Baddeley & Graham J. Hitch - 2006 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 135 (2):298-313.
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  45. Comment on "Competition for Consciousness Among Visual Events: The Psychophysics of Reentrant Visual Processes".Gregory Francis & Frouke Hermens - 2002 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 131 (4):590-593.
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  46. Visual Experience, Visual Field Size, and the Development of Nonvisual Sensitivity to the Spatial Structure of Outdoor Neighborhoods Explored by Walking.John J. Rieser, Everett W. Hill, Charles R. Talor, Anna Bradfield & Sandra Rosen - 1992 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 121 (2):210-221.
  47. Social Vision: Functional Forecasting and the Integration of Compound Social Cues.Reginald B. Adams & Kestutis Kveraga - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):591-610.
    For decades the study of social perception was largely compartmentalized by type of social cue: race, gender, emotion, eye gaze, body language, facial expression etc. This was partly due to good scientific practice, and partly due to assumptions that each type of social cue was functionally distinct from others. Herein, we present a functional forecast approach to understanding compound social cue processing that emphasizes the importance of shared social affordances across various cues. We review the traditional theories of emotion and (...)
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  48. Cognitive Penetrability of Perception in the Age of Prediction: Predictive Systems Are Penetrable Systems.Gary Lupyan - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):547-569.
    The goal of perceptual systems is to allow organisms to adaptively respond to ecologically relevant stimuli. Because all perceptual inputs are ambiguous, perception needs to rely on prior knowledge accumulated over evolutionary and developmental time to turn sensory energy into information useful for guiding behavior. It remains controversial whether the guidance of perception extends to cognitive states or is locked up in a “cognitively impenetrable” part of perception. I argue that expectations, knowledge, and task demands can shape perception at multiple (...)
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  49. Reply to Macpherson: Further Illustrations of the Cognitive Penetrability of Perception.Gary Lupyan - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):585-589.
    My reply to Macpherson begins by addressing whether it is effects of cognition on early vision or perceptual performance that I am interested in. I proceed to address Macpherson’s comments on evidence from cross-modal effects, interpretations of linguistic effects on image detection, evidence from illusions, and the usefulness of predictive coding for understanding cognitive penetration. By stressing the interactive and distributed nature of neural processing, I am committing to a collapse between perception and cognition. Following such a collapse, the very (...)
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  50. Perceptual Surface Reconstruction.Jens Månsson - unknown
    How does the brain transform the 2-D light arrays in our eyes into a meaningful 3-D description of surfaces around us? What assumptions does the visual system make about the world when information is incomplete? And how are these assumptions computationally expressed in this perceptual reconstruction process? These questions, and other aspects of binocular depth perception are analysed from a theoretical and computational perspective, as well as through empirical investigations. In paper one, the fundamentals of stereopsis are briefly reviewed, and (...)
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