Persistence and Change: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Event Perception

Persistence and Change: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Event Perception

Persistence and Change: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Event Perception

Persistence and Change: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Event Perception

Synopsis

Derived from the First International Conference on Event Perception; documents new approaches to classic problems of perception. Of interest to computer scientists who wish to incorporate events into scene analysis.

Excerpt

The First International Conference on Event Perception was held at the University of Connecticut, June 7-12, 1981, to recognize a newly burgeoning field of research and theory that is beginning to make its impact felt in the perceptual sciences at large. We remember, early on in the planning, brainstorming for the names of relevant scientists--and overflowing the blackboard. We plotted the frequency of publications on the subject from the 1930's to the present, and came up with an exponential curve. Those we surveyed about the idea of a conference unanimously agreed that the time was ripe. On this basis we decided to organize a modest working conference in order to help consolidate current thinking on the topic, crystallize outstanding questions and enduring issues, and suggest an agenda for future research.

The common insight behind an "event" approach is that, unlike most perceptual psychologists' stimulus displays, the natural world doesn't usually sit still for a perceiver, nor does a perceiver typically sit still when exploring his or her surroundings. Our perceptual encounters with the world are dominated by events, or changes in structure over time. But far from complicating the act of perceiving, such transformations appear to yield more efficient, stable, and veridical perception, by providing more information about the object or event observed.

This insight was championed in 1950 independently by Gunnar Johansson, whom we were pleased to have with us at the meeting, and by the late James J. Gibson. These two figures towered over the conference, and it is to them that we respectfully and affectionately dedicate its proceedings. The idea suggested to both men new approaches to classic problems of perception--the perceptual constancies, perceiving the three-dimensional structure of objects, the muddle of . . .

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