Understanding vision in wholly empirical terms.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)

This article considers visual perception, the nature of the information on which perceptions seem to be based, and the implications of a wholly empirical concept of perception and sensory processing for vision science. Evidence from studies of lightness, brightness, color, form, and motion all indicate that, because the visual system cannot access the physical world by means of retinal light patterns as such, what we see cannot and does not represent the actual properties of objects or images. The phenomenology of visual perceptions can be explained, however, in terms of empirical associations that link images whose meanings are inherently undetermined to their behavioral significance. Vision in these terms requires fundamentally different concepts of what we see, why, and how the visual system operates.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Purves, D; Wojtach, WT; Lotto, RB

Published Date

  • September 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 108 Suppl 3 /

Start / End Page

  • 15588 - 15595

PubMed ID

  • 21383192

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3176612

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8424

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.1012178108


  • eng