Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Future Posts 10/13/2010

Some weeks ago, Andrew Wilson sent me a link to Runeson's (1977).  "On the Possibility of 'Smart' Mechanisms" Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 18, 172-9.

I'll be working through some comments on this starting on Friday.  The paper is available here

After that, I have a number of comments on Chapter 4 of Gibson 1979.  Basically, I take exception to Gibson's objection to retinal images.  I have other scattered posts on Gibson, but it just occurred to me that it might be good to contrast Gibson's case against retinal images with Alva Noë's comments/ objections to retinal images in Action in Perception

And to think that I worried that I would not have enough to say for a blog.  It must be the brevity of the posts....


  1. I was thinking about the ide of retinal images while looking at images like this (sorry for the long link, don't know how to associate them with hypertext):,r:0,s:0&tx=93&ty=89

    Notice that the sense of depth provided by the blurring of the upper and lower bands of the picture persists no matter where in the picture you are looking.

    But this seems to suggest that the sense of depth we have when looking out on an _actual_ field comes, not from how our eye muscles must adjust to focus as we scan up and down etc., but rather, simply from the blurring that occurs in the upper and lower bands of the _image_ we're presented with when we look at a single small region of the field. _Image_, right? this seems to imply the existence of images which, even if they are retinal, nevertheless exist somewhere in the lens-to-brain interface and any such image is, I think, not the kind of thing Noe and Gibson would like to countenance.

  2. Kris,
    I think that the blurring in the image is due to depth of field adjustment in the camera aperture. So, I think it would be ok for them to say that you get the same depth of field effects when light passed into the eye. Now, I think you are right that Noe and Gibson do not like to talk about retinal images, but on reading Gibson (about which I have forthcoming posts), I find that his principal objection to retinal images is not so much that they are projected onto the retina, but that they somehow force one to the view that there is a little homunculus in the brain that sees or views the retinal image. This is my take on Gibson, 1979, pp. 60-61. Noe's resistance to retinal images is somewhat different and I have not gone back to re-read that, although I have thought about re-reading and posting on that.