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Seeing, Doing, and KnowingA Philosophical Theory of Sense Perception$
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Mohan Matthen

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199268504

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199268509.001.0001

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Sensory Classification: The View from Psychology

Sensory Classification: The View from Psychology

Chapter:
(p.36) 2 Sensory Classification: The View from Psychology
Source:
Seeing, Doing, and Knowing
Author(s):

Mohan Matthen (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199268509.003.0003

Descartes realized that the retinal image would have to be transformed into Amovements of the brain@ and then into ideas before it could become material for sensory or mental operations; he discovered what today is called Atransduction@. The current neurocomputational paradigm goes further: it sees sensory systems as processing transduced signals in the search for the occurrence of specific events or conditions and discarding all information irrelevant to these. When a particular feature is detected, the system enters into a characteristic state: for instance, a neuron might fire to signal the detection of a particular feature. A perceiver gains access to this event through a conscious sensation, which is in no way an image or picture. The features that a system detects in this way are often objective characteristics of external things. This opens the door to realism with respect to sensory classification.

Keywords:   classification, Descartes, feature maps, realism, sensory data processing, similarity, single neuron studies, visual attention, W. V. O. Quine

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