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Re: direct/indirect perception

Al Bregman <bregman@HEBB.PSYCH.MCGILL.CA> writes:

The issue here is whether you can draw a boundary around
a set of perceptual phenomena that might not need representation.
One could make the case that the neural response maps we
know about in the barn owl auditory localization system are
measurements of the owl's body and not of the world he
inhabits: the distance between his ears, the interaural spectral
profile of his head, and the position of his head relative to his body.

Whether one could make this case for the entire behavior of
a barn owl hunting down a mouse in darkness is dubious --
owls don't attack rustling leaves but do attack mice.

Coming up with a system that solves "is it a mouse?" that doesn't
use representation seems hard to me.  The "thought and
imagination" that embodies an owl's model of mice would
have to be transformed into an acoustic representation of the
world, and then mouse-sound recognition would be done as a
model-free comparison of the actual and imagined acoustic worlds.

John Lazzaro
lazzaro [at] cs [dot] berkeley [dot] edu