In the Mind's Eye: Julian Hochberg on the Perception of Pictures, Films, and the World

In the Mind's Eye: Julian Hochberg on the Perception of Pictures, Films, and the World

In the Mind's Eye: Julian Hochberg on the Perception of Pictures, Films, and the World

In the Mind's Eye: Julian Hochberg on the Perception of Pictures, Films, and the World

Excerpt

How can we best describe the processes by which we attain the visual perception of an extended and coherent world?

One view, which for many years has been the standard model, is that through a series of eye fixations we trigger the creation of a detailed internal model of the world, which we then consult in order to report our perceptions or to control our actions. Recent research, however—grouped under headings such as “change blindness” and “inattentional blindness,” among others—has seriously undermined this view, showing that little visual detail is preserved from one eye fixation to the next and that, in the control of action, eye fixations are continually being deployed to reassess relevant information.

An alternative view, which has also had considerable support for some time, is that all the information needed for the perception of the visual world is continuously present in the structured optic array of light reaching the eye from the environment. Thus no internal model is needed. This view, although it may be correct as far as it goes, does not engage directly with the particularities of human perception and so leaves many questions unaddressed.

Contemporary visual theory has reached a junction at which the development of a coherent and well-thought-out middle position is clearly needed—a theoretical position that acknowledges the wealth of available information while also recognizing the particularity of the perceptual processes that are able to find structure and organization within this information, a theoretical position that negotiates successfully between the limitations on the information that can be retained from a single eye fixation and the phenomenal and behavioral evidence for the perception of an extended and coherent world.

At this junction, many leading theorists and researchers in visual perception are turning with new or renewed interest to the work of Julian Hochberg. For more than 50 years, in his own experimental research, in his detailed consideration of examples drawn from a very wide range of visual experiences and activities, and most of all in his brilliant and sophisticated . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.