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Perceptual learning is the specific and relatively permanent modification of perception and behavior following sensory experience. It encompasses parts of the learning process that are independent from conscious forms of learning and involve structural and/or functional changes in primary sensory cortices. A familiar example is the treatment for a "lazy" or crossed eye. Covering the good eye causes gradual improvement in the weaker eye’s cortical representations. If the good eye is patched too long, however, it learns to see less acutely.

Attention, Spectacle, and Modern Culture

Suspensions of Perception is a major historical study of human attention and its volatile role in modern Western culture. It argues that the ways in which we intently look at or listen to anything result from crucial changes in the nature of perception that can be traced back to the second half of the nineteenth century.

The neurobiology and psychology of attention have much to learn from each other. Neurobiologists recognize that responses in sensory cortex depend on the behavioral relevance of a stimulus, but have few ways to study how perception changes as a result. Psychologists have the conceptual and methodological tools to do just that, but are confounded by the multiple interpretations and theoretical ambiguities. This book attempts to bridge the two fields and to derive a comprehensive theory of attention from both neurobiological and psychological data.

Papers from the First Mind Articulation Project Symposium

Recent attempts to unify linguistic theory and brain science have grown out of recognition that a proper understanding of language in the brain must reflect the steady advances in linguistic theory of the last forty years. The first Mind Articulation Project Symposium addressed two main questions: How can the understanding of language from linguistic research be transformed through the study of the biological basis of language? And how can our understanding of the brain be transformed through this same research? The best model so far of such mutual constraint is research on vision.

Information Processing in Perception and Visual Behavior

This text provides an introduction to computational aspects of early vision, in particular, color, stereo, and visual navigation. It integrates approaches from psychophysics and quantitative neurobiology, as well as theories and algorithms from machine vision and photogrammetry. When presenting mathematical material, it uses detailed verbal descriptions and illustrations to clarify complex points. The text is suitable for upper-level students in neuroscience, biology, and psychology who have basic mathematical skills and are interested in studying the mathematical modeling of perception.

The Development of Spatial Representation and Reasoning

Spatial competence is a central aspect of human adaptation. To understand human cognitive functioning, we must understand how people code the locations of things, how they navigate in the world, and how they represent and mentally manipulate spatial information. Until recently three approaches have dominated thinking about spatial development. Followers of Piaget claim that infants are born without knowledge of space or a conception of permanent objects that occupy space. They develop such knowledge through experience and manipulation of their environment.

Experiences and feelings are inherently conscious states. There is something it is like to feel pain, to have an itch, to experience bright red. Philosophers call this sort of consciousness "phenomenal consciousness." Even though phenomenal consciousness seems to be a relatively primitive matter, something more widespread in nature than higher-order or reflective consciousness, it is deeply puzzling.

Imagery and Creativity in Science and Art

How can new knowledge be created from already existing knowledge? Insights of Genius shows how seeing is central to the greatest advances of the human intellect. Artists and scientists alike rely on visual representations of worlds both visible and invisible.

Development of Perception in Infancy

In the past twenty-five years there has been an explosion in research on the development of perception. This research has produced discoveries at multiple levels: ecological analyses of the information available for perception, models of representation and process, and improved understanding of biological mechanisms. In this comprehensive treatment of infant perception, Philip Kellman and Martha Arterberry bring together work at these multiple levels to produce a new picture of perception's origins.

Tales in the History of Neuroscience

Charles G. Gross is an experimental neuroscientist who specializes in brain mechanisms in vision. He is also fascinated by the history of his field. In these engaging tales describing the growth of knowledge about the brain—from the early Egyptians and Greeks to the Dark Ages and the Renaissance to the present time—he attempts to answer the question of how the discipline of neuroscience evolved into its modern incarnation through the twists and turns of history.

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