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Latest Philosophy of perception Stories

2012-03-05 11:24:17

Our senses aren´t just delivering a strict view of what´s going on in the world; they´re affected by what´s going on in our heads. A new study finds that hungry people see food-related words more clearly than people who´ve just eaten. The study, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that this change in vision happens at the earliest, perceptual stages, before higher parts of the brain have a chance to change...

2011-12-21 12:56:53

Scientists model brain structure to help computers recognize objects An essential question confronting neuroscientists and computer vision researchers alike is how objects can be identified by simply "looking" at an image. Introspectively, we know that the human brain solves this problem very well. We only have to look at something to know what it is. But teaching a computer to "know" what it´s looking at is far harder. In research published this fall in the Public Library of...

2011-12-09 16:24:38

Our senses of sight and hearing work closely together, perhaps more than people realize, a new UCLA psychology study shows. "If we think of the perceptual system as a democracy where each sense is like a person casting a vote and all votes are counted to reach a decision – although not all votes are counted equally – what our study shows is that the voters talk to one another and influence one another even before each casts a vote," said Ladan Shams, a UCLA associate professor...

2011-12-03 11:23:05

Imagine you are playing ping-pong with a friend. Your friend makes a serve. Information about where and when the ball hit the table is provided by both vision and hearing. Scientists have believed that each of the senses produces an estimate relevant for the task (in this example, about the location or time of the ball´s impact) and then these votes get combined subconsciously according to rules that take into account which sense is more reliable. And this is how the senses interact in...

2011-11-28 17:14:48

Piano practicing finetunes the brain circuitries that temporally bind signals from our senses Over the years pianists develop a particularly acute sense of the temporal correlation between the movements of the piano keys and the sound of the notes played. However, they are no better than non-musicians at assessing the synchronicity of lip movements and speech. This was discovered by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in a comparative study on the...

2011-11-17 10:43:28

Researchers at the University of Tampere and the Aalto University, Finland, have shown that the perception of nude bodies is boosted at an early stage of visual processing. The research was funded by the Academy of Finland. Most people like to look at pictures of nude or scantily clad human bodies. Looking at nude bodies is sexually arousing, and a nude human body is a classic subject in art. Advertising, too, has harnessed half-clothed models to evoke positive images about the products...

2011-11-10 18:42:42

Vision is amazing because it seems so mundane. Peoples' eyes, nerves and brains translate light into electrochemical signals and then into an experience of the world around them. A close look at the physics of just the first part of this process shows that even seemingly simple tasks, like keeping a stable perception of an object's color in different lighting conditions or distinguishing black and white objects, is, in fact, very challenging. University of Pennsylvania psychologists, by...

2011-11-04 21:33:17

To be able to focus on the world, we need to turn a part of ourselves off for a short while, and this is precisely what our brain does They demonstrate more specifically that when we need to concentrate, this network disrupts the activation of other specialized neurones when it is not deactivated enough. The results have just been published in the Journal of Neuroscience. When we focus on the things around us, certain parts of the brain are activated: this network, well known to...

2011-08-05 12:04:48

A research team that included Hamilton E. Farris, PhD, Research Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Otorhinolaryngology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, reveals that two entirely different species show similar perception of auditory cues that drive basic biological functions; that these perceptions may be universally shared among animals; and that such perception may also limit the evolution of communication signals. The work is published in the August 5, 2011 issue of Science....

2011-07-20 14:28:17

Taking a trip down memory lane while you are driving could land you in a roadside ditch, new research indicates. Vanderbilt University psychologists have found that our visual perception can be contaminated by memories of what we have recently seen, impairing our ability to properly understand and act on what we are currently seeing. "This study shows that holding the memory of a visual event in our mind for a short period of time can "Ëœcontaminate' visual perception during the...


Word of the Day
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'