Indirect Perception


Irvin Rock was a global perceptual theorist in the grand tradition of von Helmoltz, Wertheimer, and Gibson. This posthumous volume, the culmination of a long and distinguished career, brings together an original essay by the author together with a careful selection of previously published articles (most by Rock) on the theory that perception is an indirect process in which visual experience is derived by inference, rather than being directly and independently determined by retinal stimulation.

Rock's reasons for holding that perception is indirect were mainly empirical. Unlike many theorists, he paid close attention to a broad range of experimental evidence in evaluating theoretical claims. His approach, in which theory and experiment go hand in hand, is well represented in this book.

In the first chapter, which is new, Rock lays out the theoretical issues underlying indirect perception. The remaining twenty-two chapters present detailed evidence in support of the indirect view. They are divided into sections covering indirect perception, organization, shape, motion, illusions, lightness, and final considerations. Each section is introduced by the author. Stephen Palmer's introduction to the book places Rock's work within the context of the history of perceptual theory—approaches formulated by Helmholtz (inferential), by the Gestaltist psychologists (organizational), and by Gibson (ecological).

Cognitive Psychology series

Table of Contents

  1. Series Foreword

    Stephen E. Palmer

  2. Foreword: The Legacy of Irvin Rock
  3. I. On Direct Perception
  4. 1. The Concept of Indirect Perception

    Irvin Rock

  5. 2. Percept-Percept Couplings

    William Epstein

  6. II. Perceptual Organization
  7. 3. Grouping and Proximity

    Irvin Rock and Leonard Brosgole

  8. 4. Grouping and Lightness

    Irvin Rock, Romi Nijhawan, Stephen E. Palmer, and Leslie Tudor

  9. 5. Grouping and Amodal Completion

    Stephen E. Palmer, Jonathan Neff, and Diane Beck

  10. III. Shape
  11. 6. Shape and the Retinal Image

    Irvin Rock and Christopher M. Linnett

  12. 7. Anorthoscopic Perception

    Irvin Rock

  13. 8. Induced Form

    Irvin Rock and Alan L. Gilchrist

  14. 9. Orientation and Form

    Irvin Rock

  15. 10. Symmetry

    Irvin Rock and Robin Leaman

  16. 11. The Right Angle

    Donatella Ferrante, Walter Gerbino, and Irvin Rock

  17. 12. Masking

    Charles W. White

  18. 13. Symmetry Based on Figure Halves

    Janet P. Szylk, Irvin Rock and, Celia B. Fisher

  19. IV. Motion
  20. 14. The Perception of Movement

    Irvin Rock

  21. 15. Apparent Motion Based on Phenomenal Location

    Irvin Rock and Sheldon Ebenholtz

  22. 16. Apparent Motion Based on Changing Phoria

    Hiroshi Ono and Gail Gonda

  23. 17. Apparent Movement in Tridimensional Space

    Fred Attneave and Gene Block

  24. 18. Motion Aftereffects and Retinal Motion

    Arien Mack, James Hill, and Steven Kahn

  25. 19. Speed Constancy and Size Constancy

    Irvin Rock, A. Lewis Hill, and Mark Fineman

  26. V. Illusions
  27. 20. The Müller-Lyer Illusion Reexamined

    Romi Nijhawan

  28. 21. The Conditions for Perceiving Dynamic Occlusion of a Line

    Irvin Rock and Alan L. Gilchrist

  29. VI. Lightness
  30. 22. Perceived Lightness Depends on Perceived Spatial Arrangement

    Alan L. Gilchrist

  31. VII. Final Considerations
  32. 23. The Organization of Perceived Space

    Walter C. Gogel

  33. Index