Visual Reflections

Visual Reflections : A Perceptual Deficit and Its Implications

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How much can we learn about normal visual perception and cognition from a malfunctioning visual system? Quite a lot, as Michael McCloskey makes abundantly clear in this book. McCloskey presents his work with AH, a college student who has an extraordinary deficit in visual perception. When AH looks at an object, she sees it clearly and identifies it readily; yet she is often dramatically mistaken about where the object is or how it is oriented. For example, she may reach out to grasp an object that she sees on her left, but miss it completely because it is actually on her right; or she may see an arrow pointing up when it is really pointing down. AH's errors, together with many other clues, lead McCloskey to some very interesting conclusions about how we perceive the world. He develops theoretical claims about visual subsystems, the nature of visual location and orientation representations, attention and spatial representations, the role of the visual system in mental imagery, and the levels of the visual system implicated in awareness. Visual Reflections makes a fascinating and compelling case that we can often learn more about a process when it goes awry than when it functions more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 154.94 x 236.22 x 25.4mm | 566.99g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 75 line illus
  • 0195168690
  • 9780195168693
  • 1,694,632

Review quote

This book gives a fascinating and detailed insight into the visual world of a unique and extraordinary individual. McCloskey has assembled a plethora of careful observations showing that this apparently unexceptional person, A.H., habitually sees the world in a mirror-reversed fashion, though surprisingly without this greatly affecting her everyday life. The book challenges current accounts of visuospatial cognition and its development, as well as some current philosophical accounts of perception. * David Milner, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Durham University, and author of The Visual Brain in Action * This book is for anyone who has marveled at the ubiquitous and fundamental nature of spatial vision and its moment by moment influence on everyday life. Michael McCloskey takes on some of the most difficult questions in this arena. How are values on spatial dimensions selected? What is the functional role of spatial reference frames on perception and action? How are spatial frames formed? What are their components? How does the brain compute them, and what are the necessary and sufficient requirements? His intriguing conclusions are based on the integration of a large body of cross-disciplinary research and his insights from single case studies. This is a journey worth taking. * Lynn C. Robertson, Veterans Administration, Department of Psychology and Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley *show more

About Michael McCloskey

Michael McCloskey is Professor of Cognitive Science at Johns Hopkins University. His research focuses on mental representation and computation in visual-spatial cognition and lexical processing. He studies cognitive deficits in children and adults with brain damage or learning disabilities, with the aim of gaining insight into normal cognitive representations and processes, and how they are disrupted when the brain is damaged or fails to develop normally. He received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Princeton more

Table of contents

I. Introduction and Principal Empirical Findings ; 1. Introduction ; 2. Case History and Initial Findings ; 3. Impaired Processing of Visual Location and Orientation Information ; 4. Intact Processing of Non-Visual Location and Orientation Information ; 5. Spelling and the Visual Deficit ; 6. The Nature of the Deficit: Initial Conclusions ; 7. Effects of Visual Variables ; 8. A Paradox ; 9. Does AH's Deficit Affect Her Reading? ; 10. How Does AH Succeed at Reading? ; 11. Related Cases ; II. Theoretical Issues and Implications ; 12. Spatial Representations and Frames of Reference: Theoretical Foundations ; 13. Location Representations and Frames of Reference: Evidence from AH ; 14. Orientation Representations and Frames of Reference: The COR Hypothesis ; 15. Orientation Representations: Empirical Evidence ; 16. Visual Subsystems ; 17. Mental Imagery and the Visual System ; 18. Visual Updating and Visual Awareness ; 19. Conclusion ; References ; Notes ; Indexshow more

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