Vision: Cognitive Influences

To be useful in guiding behavior, perceptual systems must derive representations of the world that allow for fast, accurate responses to the world. Perceptual systems draw on various processes to optimize behavior. For example, early feature detection processes in vision can detect cooccurrences between features, and detecting these co-occurrences permits rapid grouping of features into longer contours. But, cognitive influences also exist in vision, as when our expectancies or prior experience influence vision. These cognitive influences also can optimize behavior by altering visual representations.

There are many empirical demonstrations of cognitive influences in vision, and several examples are discussed in this entry. However, more important than demonstrations of cognitive influences are how these cognitive influences operate and affect vision. Does cognition influence vision only after ...

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