Perception beyond Inference

The Information Content of Visual Processes

This book breaks with the conventional model of perception that views vision as a mere inference to an objective reality on the basis of "inverse optics." The authors offer the alternative view that perception is an expressive and awareness-generating process. Perception creates semantic information in such a way as to enable the observer to deal efficaciously with the chaotic and meaningless structure present at the physical boundary between the body and its surroundings. Vision is intentional by its very nature; visual qualities are essential and real, providing an aesthetic and meaningful interface to the structures of physics and the state of the brain. This view brings perception firmly in line with ethology and modern evolutionary biology and suggests new approaches in all disciplines that study, or require an understanding of, the ontology of mind.

The book is the joint effort of a multidisciplinary group of authors. Topics covered include the relationships among stimuli, neuronal processes, and visual awareness. After considering the mind-dependent growing of information, the book treats time and dynamics; color, shape, and space; language and perception; perception, art, and design.

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. Introduction

    Liliana Albertazzi, Gert J. van Tonder, and Dhanraj Vishwanath

  4. 1. Vision and Information

    Jan J. Koenderink

  5. I. Time and Dynamics
  6. 2. Riddle of the Past, Puzzle for the Future

    Ilona Kovacs

  7. 3. Extending Pragnanz: Dynamic Aspects of Mental Representation and Gestalt Principles

    Timothy L. Hubbard

  8. 4. Informing through an Imperfect Retina

    Gert J. van Tonder

  9. 5. Perceptual Organization in the Visual Cortex

    Shinsuke Shimojo

  10. II. Color, Shape, and Space
  11. 6. The Perception of Material Qualities and the Internal Semantics of the Perceptual System

    Barbara Chapman

  12. 7. Visual Information in Surface and Depth Perception: Reconciling Pictures and Reality

    Dhanraj Vishwanath

  13. 8. Good Continuation in Layers: Shading Flows, Color Flows, Surfaces, and Shadows

    Ohad Ben-Shahar and Steven W. Zucker

  14. 9. Illusory Contours and Neon Color Spreading Reconsidered in the Light of Petter's Rule

    Baingio Pinna

  15. III. Language and Perception
  16. 10. From Grouping to Visual Meanings: A New Theory of Perceptual Organization

    Baingio Pinna and Liliana Albertazzi

  17. 11. The Perceptual Roots of Metaphor

    Liliana Albertazzi

  18. IV. Perception in Art, Design, and Computation
  19. 12. Becoming Information: Paul Cezanne and Pragnanz

    Amy Ione

  20. 13. Becoming: Generative Art and the Production of Information

    Ernest Edmonds

  21. Contributors
  22. Indexes
  23. Color Insert