How We See Things And The Value Of Prediction

What is striking is the huge amount of brain contributing to vision, giving immense added value to the images of the eye. Where does this extra richness for vision come from? By some authorities it is simply denied — they see perception as passive acceptance of what is out there, as a window facing the world. But this does not begin to explain how we see objects from the sketchy images of the eyes, even from sparse lines and crude dots to seemingly inadequate pictures.

Even in ideal conditions object perception is far richer than any possible images in the eyes. The added value must come from dynamic brain processes, employing knowledge stored from the past, to see the present and predict the immediate future. Prediction has immense survival value. It not only makes fast games possible in spite of the physiological signal delays from eye to brain, and brain to hand. Anticipating dangers and potential rewards is essential for survival — made possible by buying time from seeing objects distant in space.

Eye and Brain.
Eye and Brain: The Psychology of Seeing, Fifth Edition (Princeton Science Library)
Richard L. Gregory

Since first published in 1966, Eye and Brain has established itself worldwide as an essential introduction to the basic phenomena of visual perception. Richard L. Gregory offers clear explanations of how we see brightness, movement, color, and objects, and he explores the phenomena of visual illusions (optical illusions) to establish principles about how perception normally works and why it sometimes fails.

Illusion is a major theme in the book, and it provides a comprehensive classification system. There are also sections on what babies see and how they learn to see, on motion perception, the relationship between vision and consciousness, and on the impact of new brain imaging (neuroimaging) techniques.

Eye and Brain is lively and engaging, while scientifically sound and very informative.

Richard Gregory
Richard L. Gregory

. Wikipedia
. Professor Richard Gregory
. Obituary at The Guardian

Richard L. Gregory CBE FRS FRSE was a British psychologist and Emeritus Professor of Neuropsychology at the University of Bristol, England. Gregory was strongly involved with the Royal Institution (Ri) of Great Britain for over 40 years. His Ri Christmas Lectures in 1967, titled The Intelligent Eye, are noteworthy. Gregory was particularly enthused by the Ri’s role in igniting a curiosity about science and technology in young people.

Gregory received the Michael Faraday Prize, awarded by the Royal Society of London for “excellence in communicating science to UK audiences”, in 1992.

Richard L. Gregory’s high honors: CBE (Order of the British Empire), FRS (Fellow of the Royal Society of London), FRSE (Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland).

Some Books Written by Richard L. Gregory:


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