Two psychologies of perception and the prospect of their synthesis

Philosophical Psychology 23 (2):217 – 281 (2010)
Two traditions have had a great impact on the theoretical and experimental research of perception. One tradition is statistical, stretching from Fechner's enunciation of psychophysics in 1860 to the modern view of perception as statistical decision making. The other tradition is phenomenological, from Brentano's “empirical standpoint” of 1874 to the Gestalt movement and the modern work on perceptual organization. Each tradition has at its core a distinctive assumption about the indivisible constituents of perception: the just-noticeable differences of sensation in the tradition of Fechner vs. the phenomenological Gestalts in the tradition of Brentano. But some key results from the two traditions can be explained and connected using an approach that is neither statistical nor phenomenological. This approach rests on a basic property of any information exchange: a principle of measurement formulated in 1946 by Gabor as a part of his quantal theory of information. Here the indivisible components are units (quanta) of information that remain invariant under changes of precision of measurement. This approach helped to understand how sensory measurements are implemented by single neural cells. But recent analyses suggest that this approach has the power to explain larger-scale characteristics of sensory systems
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09515081003727483
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,191
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
The Foundations of Statistics.Leonard J. Savage - 1954 - Wiley Publications in Statistics.
The Philosophical Writings of Descartes.René Descartes - 1984 - Cambridge University Press.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
(Dis)Solving the Binding Problem.James W. Garson - 2001 - Philosophical Psychology 14 (4):381 – 392.
On Some Philosophical Accounts of Perception.George S. Pappas - 2003 - In Journal of Philosophical Research. Charlottesville: Philosophy Documentation Center. pp. 71-82.
Action-Oriented Representation.Pete Mandik - 2005 - In Andrew Brook & Kathleen Akins (eds.), Cognition and the Brain: The Philosophy and Neuroscience Movement. Cambridge University Press. pp. 284--305.
Perception and Belief.A. D. Smith - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (2):283-309.
Attention, Consciousness, and Data Display.Ronald A. Rensink - forthcoming - 2006 Proceedings of the American Statistical Association, Statistical Graphics Section.
The Common Structure is the Affordance in the Ecology.Paul J. Treffner - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (4):731-732.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

38 ( #136,359 of 2,172,657 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #172,670 of 2,172,657 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums