How to (and how not to) think about top-down influences on visual perception

Consciousness and Cognition 47:17-25 (2017)

Authors
Bence Nanay
University of Antwerp
Abstract
The question of whether cognition can influence perception has a long history in neuroscience and philosophy. Here, we outline a novel approach to this issue, arguing that it should be viewed within the framework of top-down information-processing. This approach leads to a reversal of the standard explanatory order of the cognitive penetration debate: we suggest studying top-down processing at various levels without preconceptions of perception or cognition. Once a clear picture has emerged about which processes have influences on those at lower levels, we can re-address the extent to which they should be considered perceptual or cognitive. Using top-down processing within the visual system as a model for higher-level influences, we argue that the current evidence indicates clear constraints on top-down influences at all stages of information processing; it does, however, not support the notion of a boundary between specific types of information-processing as proposed by the cognitive impenetrability hypothesis.
Keywords Perception  Vision  Cognitive penetration  Top-down influences on perception  Attention
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Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2016.05.008
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References found in this work BETA

The Illusion of Conscious Will.R. Holton - 2004 - Mind 113 (449):218-221.

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Citations of this work BETA

Perception is Not All-Purpose.Bence Nanay - forthcoming - Synthese:1-12.

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