Recent advances in the study of visual cognition and consciousness have dealt primarily with steady-state properties of visual processing, with little attention to its dynamic aspects. The First Half Second brings together for the first time the latest research on the dynamics of conscious and unconscious processing of visual information, examining the time-course of visual processes from the moment a stimulus is presented until it registers in a behavioral response or in consciousness a few hundred milliseconds later.
The cognitive disorders that follow brain damage are an important source of insights into the neural bases of human thought. This second edition of the widely acclaimed Patient-Based Approaches to Cognitive Neuroscience offers state-of-the-art reviews of the patient-based approach to central issues in cognitive neuroscience by leaders in the field.
Researchers today in neuroscience and cognitive psychology increasingly turn their attention to binocular rivalry and other forms of perceptual ambiguity or bistability. The study of fluctuations in visual perception in the face of unchanging visual input offers a means for understanding the link between neural events and visual events, including visual awareness. Some neuroscientists believe that binocular rivalry reveals a fundamental aspect of human cognition and provides a way to isolate and study brain areas involved in attention and selection.
The authors of Complex Worlds from Simpler Nervous Systems explain how animals with small, often minuscule, nervous systems—jumping spiders, bees, praying mantids, toads, and others—are not the simple "reflex machines" they were once thought to be. Because these animals live in the same world as do much larger species, they must meet the same environmental challenges.
The cognitive neuroscience of human vision draws on two kinds of evidence: functional imaging of normal subjects and the study of neurological patients with visual disorders. Martha Farah's landmark 1990 book Visual Agnosia presented the first comprehensive analysis of disorders of visual recognition within the framework of cognitive neuroscience, and remains the authoritative work on the subject.
Visual science is the model system for neuroscience, its findings relevant to all other areas. This massive collection of papers by leading researchers in the field will become an essential reference for researchers and students in visual neuroscience, and will be of importance to researchers and professionals in other disciplines, including molecular and cellular biology, cognitive science, ophthalmology, psychology, computer science, optometry, and education.
The last half of the twentieth century witnessed dramatic changes in the theory of vision. In particular, the "eye-as-camera" metaphor that had long dominated the field no longer seemed tenable. Somewhat surprisingly, however, the metaphor has maintained its appeal in the study of pictures. In Looking into Pictures, philosophers, psychologists, and art historians explore the implications of recent theories of vision for our understanding of the nature of pictorial representation and picture perception.
The philosophy of perception is a microcosm of the metaphysics of mind. Its central problems—What is perception? What is the nature of perceptual consciousness? How can one fit an account of perceptual experience into a broader account of the nature of the mind and the world?—are at the heart of metaphysics. Rather than try to cover all of the many strands in the philosophy of perception, this book focuses on a particular orthodoxy about the nature of visual perception.
One of the most important and controversial topics in the field of visual attention is the nature of the units of attentional selection. Traditional models have characterized attention in spatial terms, as a "spotlight" that moves around the visual field, applying processing resources to whatever falls within that spatial region. Recent models of attention, in contrast, suggest that in some cases the underlying units of selection are discrete visual objects and that attention may be limited by the number of objects that can be simultaneously selected.
The goal of neurotechnology is to confer the performance advantages of animal systems on robotic machines. Biomimetic robots differ from traditional robots in that they are agile, relatively cheap, and able to deal with real-world environments. The engineering of these robots requires a thorough understanding of the biological systems on which they are based, at both the biomechanical and physiological levels.