By Shimon Ullman
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Additional resources for Against direct perception (Article, Peer Commentary, Author's Response)
They are indepen dent only in that each can occur without the other. Of course, granting bushes, eye defects, and the like. A theory of direct perception cannot explain such abilities except by vacuous invocation of unspecifiable invariants, and invariant detectors with a magical ability to cope with · novel and difficult circumstances. If the visual system jumps to conclusions on the basis of both partial processes does not rule out their sharing many unconscious "low informa1ion and (for the sake of speed) partial analysis at higher levels, this may normally work if the space of possible shapes is sparsely instantiated in the actual world: For example, not an shapes interme level" subprocesses of feature extraction, description, and interpreta diate between a sheep and a horse, or a horse and a giraffe, are tion.
Clearly, the controversy continues to be a stimulus for further research concerning adequate valid theoretical frameworks. THE BEHAVIORAL AND BAAIN SCIENCES ( 1960), 3 405 Commentary/Ullman: Against direct perception On the S\Jfface. it might seem that modern bra10 research is on the side of a perceptual theory like unman's, whichseeks to elaborate its intervening variablesas computational processes in order to achieve increased explanatory power. ) But the language ol neural mecha· nisms- of neuroanatomy and neurophys,Qiogy - ties outside the scope of perceptual theory.
Comput•tlon vsr•u• construction or r•preeentaUon. I have referred to constructive processes rather than computation. This is not a matter of word preference among synonyms. I am a cognitiVe psychOlogist, not a cognitive science advocate. Computation has deftnite meaning only n i mathematics (or logic), and is as yet only a vague and misleading metaphor In cognition. For instance, the Gibson ian "mapping" Is legitimately a computation In a formal systems sense, but Ullman wants to deny that this kind of computation is a computa tion.