Thursday, December 2, 2010

Findley & Gilchrist on Active Vision 1

From the back over of Active Vision.
Active Vision
More than one third of the human brain is devoted to the processes of seeing vision is after all the main way in which we gather information about the world. But human vision is a dynamic process during which the eyes continually sample the environment. Where most books on vision consider it as a passive activity, this book is unique in focusing on vision as an 'active' process. It goes beyond most accounts of vision where the focus is on seeing, to provide an integrated account of seeing AND looking.
     The book starts by pointing out the weaknesses in our traditional approaches to vision and the reason we need this new framework. It then gives a thorough description of basic details of the visual and oculomotor systems necessary to understand active vision. The book then goes on to show how this approach can give a new perspective on visual attention, and how it has progressed in the areas of visual orienting, reading, visual search, scene perception and neuropsychology. Finally, the book summarizes progress by showing how the active vision approach sheds new light on the old problem of how we maintain perception of a stable visual world.
Although I've only read a fraction of the book, it seems to me that when Findley & Gilchrist talk about active vision, they think of vision as both involving eye and body movements and mechanisms for these as well as active computational mechanisms.  So, they think that vision is active in the two senses to which Gregory alludes.

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