The perception of material qualities and the internal semantics of the perceptual system

In Albertazzi Liliana, Tonder Gert & Vishwanath Dhanraj (eds.), Perception beyond Inference. The Information Content of Visual Processes. MIT Press (2010)
The chapter outlines an abstract theoretical framework that is currently (re-)emerging in the course of a theoretical convergence of several disciplines. In the first section, the fundamental problem of perception theory is formulated, namely, the generation, by the perceptual system, of meaningful categories from physicogeometric energy patterns. In the second section, it deals with basic intuitions and assumptions underlying what can be regarded as the current Standard Model of Perceptual Psychology and points out why this model is profoundly inadequate for dealing with the fundamental problem of perception theory. In the third section, it discusses a level of analysis that promises to be fruitful for dealing, in conformity with established procedures of the natural sciences, with the problem of perceptual “meaning” and the problem of what constitutes a “perceptual object.” In the fourth section, it outlines a theoretical perspective on basic principles of the perceptual system which centers on the notions of complex data types and conceptual forms, and draws an entirely different theoretical picture of the role of the sensory input than traditional accounts. The final section focusses on the issue of material qualities and discusses, within the general theoretical framework outlined, some observations and results on the perception of certain material properties, namely, lustrous and glassy appearances.
Keywords perception of material qualities  colour perception  perceptual architecture  internal semantics  triggering  conceptual froms
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