Brain and Perception: Holonomy and Structure in Figural Processing

Brain and Perception: Holonomy and Structure in Figural Processing

Brain and Perception: Holonomy and Structure in Figural Processing

Brain and Perception: Holonomy and Structure in Figural Processing

Synopsis

Presented as a series of lectures, this important volume achieves four major goals:

1) It integrates the results of the author's research as applied to pattern perception -- reviewing current brain research and showing how several lines of inquiry have been converging to produce a paradigm shift in our understanding of the neural basis of figural perception.

2) It updates the holographic hypothesis of brain function in perception.

3) It emphasizes the fact that both distributed (holistic) and localized (structural) processes characterize brain function.

4) It portrays a neural systems analysis of brain organization in figural perception by computational models -- describing processing in terms of formalisms found useful in ordering data in 20th-century physical and engineering sciences.

The lectures are divided into three parts: a Prolegomenon outlining a theoretical framework for the presentation; Part I dealing with the configural aspects of perception; and Part II presenting its cognitive aspects. The appendices were developed in a collaborative effort by the author, Kunio Yasue, and Mari Jibu (both of Notre Dame Seishin University of Okayama, Japan).

Excerpt

Do not bite my finger, look where I am pointing --(Warren McCulloch, quoted by Seymore Papert in McCulloch, 1965, pp. xx).

Motive

These lectures are motivated by several considerations. First among these is the desire to present in an integrated fashion the results of research in my laboratory as it applies to pattern perception. There are a considerable number of perceptual psychologists who feel that the results of brain research are still too crude to help understand the sophisticated issues that define problems in figural perception. At the same time, perceptual psychology texts often rely on incomplete and outdated findings obtained by neurophysiologists. These lectures review the current state of the art in brain research to show that several lines of inquiry have been converging to produce a paradigm shift (Kuhn, 1962) in our understanding of the neural basis of figural perception.

The second motivation that has produced these lectures is the desire to update the holographic hypothesis of brain function in perception as developed in my laboratory (Barrett, 1969, 1972, 1973a, 1973b, 1973c; Pribram 1966, 1971, 1982b; Pribram,Nuwer, & Baron 1974). the earlier formalisms of the theory have been enriched by new neurophysiological data and by the emergence in the field of artificial intelligence of parallel distributed processing architectures (Rumelhart,McClelland, and thePDP Research Group, 1986). These "neural networks" or "connectionist" models are similar to occam, a content addressable computational model that we (Pribram, 1971; Spinelli, 1970) developed in . . .

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