This is a book about how we see: the environment around us (its surfaces, their layout, and their colors and textures); where we are in the environment; whether or not we are moving and, if we are, where we are going; what things are good for; how to do things (to thread a needle or drive an automobile); or why things look as they do.The basic assumption is that vision depends on the eye which is connected to the brain. The (...) author suggests that natural vision depends on the eyes in the head on a body supported by the ground, the brain being only the central organ of a complete visual system. When no constraints are put on the visual system, people look around, walk up to something interesting and move around it so as to see it from all sides, and go from one vista to another. That is natural vision—and what this book is about. (shrink)
Many of Margaret Cavendish’s criticisms of Thomas Hobbes in the Philosophical Letters (1664) relate to the disorder and damage that she holds would result if Hobbesian pressure were the cause of visualperception. In this paper, I argue that her “two men” thought experiment in Letter IV is aimed at a different goal: to show the explanatory potency of her account. First, I connect Cavendish’s view of visualperception as “patterning” to the “two men” thought experiment (...) in Letter IV. Second, I provide a potential reply on Hobbes’s behalf that appeals to physiological differences between perceivers’ sense organs, drawing upon Hobbes’s optics in De homine. Third, I argue that such a reply would misunderstand Cavendish’s objective of showing the limited explanatory resources available in understanding visualperception as pressing when compared to her view of visualperception as patterning. (shrink)
This thesis falls into two parts, a characterizing part, and an explanatory part. In the first part, I outline some of the core aspects of our ordinary understanding of visualperception, and how we regard it as a means of knowing. What explains the fact that I know that the lemon before me is yellow is my visualperception: I know that the lemon is yellow because I can see it. Some explanations of how one knows (...) specify that in virtue of which one genuinely knows, as opposed to merely believes, some content. Such explanations are epistemically satisfactory explanations. We think that visual perceptual explanations of knowledge can be epistemically satisfactory. I argue that that is what it is to regard visualperception as being among our means of knowing. In the second part, I explore how we might explain the fact that visualperception is a means of knowing (assuming that it is a fact). I ask what makes it the case that visualperception is a means of knowing (in the way we ordinarily think that it is)? I suggest that part of the answer to this question is that visualperception, given the nature it has, has a reason giving role. And that is just to say that the nature of visualperception is such that visually perceiving can ensure the satisfaction of some important condition on knowledge (namely, that if one knows that something is the case one must have a good reason to believe that it is the case). In concluding I suggest that giving this sort of explanation doesn't require a specific theory of perception. (shrink)
It is argued that seeing that P is a mode of knowing that P that is to be explained in terms of the exercise of visual-perceptual recognitional abilities. The nature of those abilities is described. The justification for believing that P, when one sees that P, is provided by the fact that one sees that P. Access to this fact is explained in terms of an ability to recognize of seen objects that one is seeing them. Reasons for resistance (...) to such an account are considered. The distinction between merely reasonable belief and well-founded belief is emphasised. (shrink)
O'Regan & Noë mistakenly identify visual processing with visual experience. I outline some reasons why this is a mistake, taking my data and arguments mainly from the literature on subliminal processing.
This comprehensively updated and expanded revision of the successful second edition continues to provide detailed coverage of the ever-growing range of research topics in vision. In Part I, the treatment of visual physiology has been extensively revised with an updated account of retinal processing, a new section explaining the principles of spatial and temporal filtering which underlie discussions in later chapters, and an up-to-date account of the primate visual pathway. Part II contains four largely new chapters which cover (...) recent psychophysical evidence and computational model of early vision: edge detection, perceptual grouping, depth perception, and motion perception. The models discussed are extensively integrated with physiological evidence. All other chapters in Parts II, III, and IV have also been thoroughly updated. (shrink)
We present an investigation into the relation between design princi- ples in Japanese gardens, and their associated perceptual effects. This leads to the realization that a set of design principles described in a Japanese gardening text by Shingen (1466), shows many parallels to the visual effects of perceptual grouping, studied by the Gestalt school of psychology. Guidelines for composition of rock clusters closely relate to perception of visual figure. Garden design elements are arranged into patterns that simplify (...) figure-ground segmentation, while seemingly balancing the visual salience of subparts and the global arrangement. Visual ‘ground’ is analyzed via medial axis transformation (MAT), often associated with shape perception in humans. MAT analysis reveals implicit structure in the visual ground of a quintessential rock garden design. The MAT structure enables formal com- parison of structure of figure and ground. They share some aesthetic qualities, with interesting differences. Both contain naturalistic asymmetric, self-similar, branching structures. While the branching pattern of the ground converges towards the viewer, that of the figure converges in the opposite direction. (shrink)
There is a long-lasting quest of demarcating a minimally representational behavior. Based on neurophysiologically-informed behavioral studies, we argue in detail that one of the simplest cases of organismic behavior based on low-resolution spatial vision–the visually-guided obstacle avoidance in the cubozoan medusaTripedalia cystophora–implies already a minimal form of representation. We further argue that the characteristics and properties of this form of constancy-employing structural representation distinguish it substantially from putative representational states associated with mere sensory indicators, and we reply to some possible (...) objections from the liberal representationalists camp by defending and qualitatively demarcating the minimal nature of our case. Finally, we briefly discuss the implications of our thesis within a naturalistic framework. (shrink)
Pessoa et al. fail to make a clear distinction between visualperception and subjective visual awareness. Their most controversial claims, however, concern subjective visual awareness rather than visualperception: visual awareness is externalized to the “personal level,” thus denying the view that consciousness is a natural biological phenomenon somehow constructed inside the brain.
We present an investigation into the relation between design principles in Japanese gardens, and their associated perceptual effects. This leads to the realization that a set of design principles described in a Japanese gardening text by Shingen (1466), shows many parallels to the visual effects of perceptual grouping, studied by the Gestalt school of psychology. Guidelines for composition of rock clusters closely relate to perception of visual figure. Garden design elements are arranged into patterns that simplify figure-ground (...) segmentation, while seemingly balancing the visual salience of subparts and the global arrangement. Visual ‘ground’ is analyzed via medial axis transformation (MAT), often associated with shape perception in humans. MAT analysis reveals implicit structure in the visual ground of a quintessential rock garden design. The MAT structure enables formal comparison of structure of figure and ground. They share some aesthetic qualities, with interesting differences. Both contain naturalistic asymmetric, self-similar, branching structures. While the branching pattern of the ground converges towards the viewer, that of the figure converges in the opposite direction. (shrink)
The behavioral immune system (BIS) includes perceptual mechanisms for detecting cues of contamination. Former studies have indicated that moisture has a disgusting property. Therefore, moisture could be a target for detecting contamination cues by the BIS. We conducted two experiments to examine the psychophysical basis of moisture perception and clarify the relationship between the perception of moisture and the BIS. We assumed that the number of high luminance areas in a visual image provided optical information that would (...) enable the visualperception of moisture. In two experiments, we presented eight images of dough that contained different amounts of moisture as experimental stimuli. The amount of moisture shown in the images was increased in eight steps, from 28.6% to 42.9% of the total weight of the dough. In Experiment 1, the images were randomly presented on a computer display, and the participants (n = 22) were asked to rank the images in the order of the visually perceived moisture content. In Experiment 2, the participants (n = 15) completed pairwise comparisons based on the perceived moistness of the images. Furthermore, to examine the BIS responses, the participants rated the strength of disgust evoked by the stimuli, their motivation to avoid touching the stimuli, and the estimated magnitude of the risk of contamination by physical contact with the stimuli. The results indicated that the moisture content and the numbers of high luminance areas in the images accurately predicted the perception of moisture, suggesting that the detection of visual moisture was highly accurate, and the optical information served as an essential perceptual cue for detecting moisture. On the other hand, the BIS responses peaked in response to stimuli having approximately 33% to 39% moisture content. These results show that objects containing a moderate amount of moisture could be the target of visually detecting pathogens by the BIS. (shrink)
In Word and Object, W.V. Quine made thinkable the idea that speech and cognition bear a burden of semantic indeterminacy. On Quine’s account, the upshot of semantic indeterminacy is that meaning and mentalism resist successful naturalization, and thus fail the test of scientific respectibility. For Quine, semantic indeterminacy is a fatal shortcoming.Recent attempts to naturalize meaning in our thought and our talk (e.g. Dretske 1981, Fodor 1987), belonging to a tradition that has thrived in reaction to Quine, have sought to (...) nail down semantic properties in a scientifically respectable fashion, avoiding the scourge of indeterminacy. However, both Quine and the new redeemers of mentalism may have missed the boat. Three case studies offered here will suggest that a thriving theory of visualperception still makes room for some rather striking indeterminacies. (shrink)
Collects twenty five classic articles in visualperception, the articles span a century and include examples from disciplines that contribute to our current understanding of vision. Discussion questions and further reading suggestions follow.
Greenway is a kind of corridors in the city that takes natural elements as the main constituent foundation and connects open spaces with functions such as leisure and recreation. The assessment of the built greenway is a review of the past construction experiences, and it is also a supplement and improvement to the future greenway planning concept system, which has important academic and application value. This study will explore how greenway design factors influenced the local cyclists’ perception of the (...) landscape using on-site questionnaire and photo rating method. The results indicated that greenways with continuous cycling paths, high security awareness, open landscapes, and rich human activities evoke positive perceptions. Among the visual elements, natural elements such as plants and sky are more favorable than artificial elements. The research results show that the formation of greenway cyclists’ landscape imagery is affected by visualperception elements, which suggests that special consideration should be given to the laws of cyclists’ mental perception when designing greenways. (shrink)
Since its publication fifty years ago, this work has established itself as a classic. It casts the visual process in psychological terms and describes the creative way one's eye organizes visual material according to specific psychological premises. In 1974 this book was revised and expanded, and since then it has continued to burnish Rudolf Arnheim's reputation as a groundbreaking theoretician in the fields of art and psychology.
Three case studies offered here will support the conclusion that a successful scientific theory of visual cognition still makes room for some rather systematic and rather striking semantic indeterminacies-W.V. Quine's well-known pessimism about the wages of such indeterminacy not withstanding. The first case concerns the perception of shape, the second concerns color vision, and the third concerns the rules of inference involved in "unconscious inference" within the visual system.
Neuroscience studies show many examples of very early modulation of visual cortex responses. It is argued that such early routing is essential for a rapid processing of information by the visual system.