Seeing and Vision

Today we take a high level view of theories of seeing. This is a rich topic, and has some surprises. Please watch the series of 7 videos (just over one hour) in preparation for class.

Click here for 7 videos about seeing.

In those videos, I distinguish between imagistic theories of vision and relational theories of vision. Imagistic theories are cognitivist. They rely on incredible assumptions about brains and images. But they are the conventional way in which vision is treated in our society.

We met relational theories with the work of James Gibson. There are other theories in this camp, though they lack a single organising framework. Of great importance is the 2001 theory of sensorimotor correspondence introduced by Kevin O’Regan and Alva Noë:

J. K. O’Regan, A. Noë. A sensorimotor account of vision and visual consciousness, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 2001.

Highly recommended also: This seems like a good time to introduce Sensory substitution and the human-machine interface, by Paul Bach-y-Rita and Stephen Kercel (2003), where the empirical task of learning new sensorimotor correspondences necessarily arises.

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