•  1035
    Connectionism and cognitive architecture: A critical analysis
    with Jerry A. Fodor
    Cognition 28 (1-2): 3-71. 1988.
    This paper explores the difference between Connectionist proposals for cognitive a r c h i t e c t u r e a n d t h e s o r t s o f m o d e l s t hat have traditionally been assum e d i n c o g n i t i v e s c i e n c e . W e c l a i m t h a t t h e m a j o r d i s t i n c t i o n i s t h a t , w h i l e b o t h Connectionist and Classical architectures postulate representational mental states, the latter but not the former are committed to a symbol-level of representation, or to a ‘language of t…Read more
  •  645
    Return of the mental image: Are there really pictures in the brain?
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7 (3): 113-118. 2003.
    In the past decade there has been renewed interest in the study of mental imagery. Emboldened by new findings from neuroscience, many people have revived the idea that mental imagery involves a special format of thought, one that is pictorial in nature. But the evidence and the arguments that exposed deep conceptual and empirical problems in the picture theory over the past 300 years have not gone away. I argue that the new evidence from neural imaging and clinical neuropsychology does little to…Read more
  •  592
    Although the study of visual perception has made more progress in the past 40 years than any other area of cognitive science, there remain major disagreements as to how closely vision is tied to general cognition. This paper sets out some of the arguments for both sides and defends the position that an important part of visual perception, which may be called early vision or just vision, is prohibited from accessing relevant expectations, knowledge and utilities - in other words it is cognitively…Read more
  •  487
    How direct is visual perception? Some reflections on Gibson's 'ecological approach'
    with Jerry A. Fodor
    Cognition 9 (2): 139-96. 1981.
    Examines the theses that the postulation of mental processing is unnecessary to account for our perceptual relationship with the world, see turvey etal. for a criticque
  •  366
    Mental imagery: In search of a theory
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2): 157-182. 2002.
    It is generally accepted that there is something special about reasoning by using mental images. The question of how it is special, however, has never been satisfactorily spelled out, despite more than thirty years of research in the post-behaviorist tradition. This article considers some of the general motivation for the assumption that entertaining mental images involves inspecting a picture-like object. It sets out a distinction between phenomena attributable to the nature of mind to what is …Read more
  •  180
    The Robot's Dilemma (edited book)
    Ablex. 1987.
  •  162
    Visual indexes, preconceptual objects, and situated vision
    Cognition 80 (1-2): 127-158. 2001.
    This paper argues that a theory of situated vision, suited for the dual purposes of object recognition and the control of action, will have to provide something more than a system that constructs a conceptual representation from visual stimuli: it will also need to provide a special kind of direct (preconceptual, unmediated) connection between elements of a visual representation and certain elements in the world. Like natural language demonstratives (such as `this' or `that') this direct connect…Read more
  •  155
    Computation and cognition: Issues in the foundation of cognitive science
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (1): 111-32. 1980.
    The computational view of mind rests on certain intuitions regarding the fundamental similarity between computation and cognition. We examine some of these intuitions and suggest that they derive from the fact that computers and human organisms are both physical systems whose behavior is correctly described as being governed by rules acting on symbolic representations. Some of the implications of this view are discussed. It is suggested that a fundamental hypothesis of this approach is that ther…Read more
  •  122
    Connecting vision with the world: Tracking the missing link
    In Joao Branquinho (ed.), The Foundations of Cognitive Science, Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 183. 2001.
    You might reasonably surmise from the title of this paper that I will be discussing a theory of vision. After all, what is a theory of vision but a theory of how the world is connected to our visual representations? Theories of visual perception universally attempt to give an account of how a proximal stimulus (presumably a pattern impinging on the retina) can lead to a rich representation of a three dimensional world and thence to either the recognition of known objects or to the coordination o…Read more
  •  107
    Vision and cognition: How do they connect?
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (3): 401-414. 1999.
    The target article claimed that although visual apprehension involves all of general cognition, a significant component of vision (referred to as early vision) works independently of cognition and yet is able to provide a surprisingly high level interpretation of visual inputs, roughly up to identifying general shape-classes. The commentators were largely sympathetic, but frequently disagreed on how to draw the boundary, on exactly what early vision delivers, on the role that attention plays, an…Read more
  •  100
    Computing and cognitive science
    In Michael I. Posner (ed.), Foundations of Cognitive Science, Mit Press. 1989.
    influence. One of the principal characteristics that distinguishes Cognitive Science from more traditional studies of cognition within Psychology, is the extent to which it has been influenced by both the ideas and the techniques of computing. It may come as a surprise to the outsider, then, to discover that there is no unanimity within the discipline on either (a) the nature (and in some cases the desireabilty) of the influence and (b) what computing is –- or at least on its
  •  95
    ��In four experiments we address the question whether several visual objects can be selected voluntarily (exogenously) and then tracked in a Multiple Object Tracking paradigm and, if so, whether the selection involves a different process. Experiment 1 showed that items can indeed be selected based on their labels. Experiment 2 showed that to select the complement set to a set that is automatically (exogenously) selected — e.g. to select all objects not flashed — observers require additional time …Read more
  •  91
    Establishment holds that thc psychological mechanism of inference is the ment psychological thcorizing. Moreover, given this conciliatory reading, transformation of mental representations, it follows that perception is in.
  •  91
  •  87
    What’s in a Mind?
    Synthese 70 (January): 97-122. 1987.
  •  83
    called,_ Cognitive Science_ was to bring back scienti?c realism. This may strike you as a very odd claim, for one does not usually think of science as needing to be talked into scienti?c realism. Science is, after all, the study of reality by the most precise instruments of measurement and
  •  79
    For many of the authors in this volume, this is the second attempt to explore what McCarthy and Hayes (1969) first called the “Frame Problem”. Since the first compendium (Pylyshyn, 1987), nicely summarized here by Ronald Loui, there have been several conferences and books on the topic. Their goals range from providing a clarification of the problem by breaking it down into subproblems (and sometimes declaring the hard subproblems to not be the_ real_ Frame Problem), to providing formal “solutions” …Read more
  •  77
    Jacques Mehler was notoriously charitable in embracing a diversity of approaches to science and to the use of many different methodologies. One place where his ecumenism brought the two of us into disagreement is when the evidence of brain imaging was cited in support of different psychological doctrines, such as the picture-theory of mental imagery. Jacques remained steadfast in his faith in the ability of neuroscience data (where the main source of evidence has been from clinical neurology and…Read more
  •  70
    Imagery
    In R. L. Gregory (ed.), Oxford Companion to the Mind, Oxford University Press. 2004.
    In Gregory, Richard. Oxford Companion to the Mind (Second Edition, 2006) Oxford University Press
  •  69
    People have always wondered how thinking takes place and what thoughts are constructed from. We typically experience our thoughts as involving pictorial (or sensory) contents or as being in words. Although this idea has been enshrined in psychology as the “dual code” theory of reasoning and memory, serious questions have been raised concerning this view. It appears that whatever the form of our thoughts it is unlikely that it is anything like our experience of them. But if thought is not in pict…Read more
  •  67
    This systematic investigation of computation and mental phenomena by a noted psychologist and computer scientist argues that cognition is a form of computation, that the semantic contents of mental states are encoded in the same general way as computer representations are encoded. It is a rich and sustained investigation of the assumptions underlying the directions cognitive science research is taking. 1 The Explanatory Vocabulary of Cognition 2 The Explanatory Role of Representations 3 The Rele…Read more
  •  57
    Evidence against a speed limit in multiple object tracking
    with Franconeri , Lin , Fisher , and Enns
    in press, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.
  •  53
    I recently discovered that work I was doing in the laboratory and in theoretical writings was implicitly taking a position on a set of questions that philosophers had been worrying about for much of the past 30 or more years. My clandestine involvement in philosophical issues began when a computer science colleague and I were trying to build a model of geometrical reasoning that would draw a diagram and notice things in the diagram as it drew it (Pylyshyn, Elcock, Marmor, & Sander, 1978). One pr…Read more