Miracles of perception
SourceActa Psychologica, 114, 3, (2003), pp. 379-396
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC CO
SW OZ NICI CO
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control
This paper draws a bird's eye view of various counter-intuitive characteristics of perception. Peculiar is that perception is a both tool and topic of its study. As a consequence, its output is easily mistaken for its input. Furthermore, its output is characterized by remarkable Gestalt features, such as mutual dependence of stimulus elements and detour solutions. Detour solutions require a complex perception process of testing countless optional pattern interpretations against a criterion. Likelihood is a plausible criterion for reasoning. For perception, however, the simplicity criterion is more appropriate. The consideration is that reasoning aims at establishing properties of distal objects whereas perception aims at establishing objects from proximal properties. The role of knowledge in perception seems plausible but often leads to conflicts. For instance, the assumption that knowledge about handedness is present in pattern representations conflicts with image mirror-image discrimination data. Moreover, knowledge does not provide an anchor for subjective time direction, but a Gestalt quality does. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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