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Handbook of Experimental Phenomenology: Visual Perception of Shape, Space and Appearance

ISBN: 978-1-119-95468-2
560 pages
May 2013, Wiley-Blackwell
Handbook of Experimental Phenomenology: Visual Perception of Shape, Space and Appearance (1119954681) cover image


While the scientific study of vision is well-advanced, a universal theory of qualitative visual appearances (texture, shape, colour and so on) is still lacking. This interdisciplinary handbook presents the work of leading researchers around the world who have taken up the challenge of defining and formalizing the field of ‘experimental phenomenology'.

  • Presents and discusses a new perspective in vision science, and formalizes a field of study that will become increasingly significant to researchers in visual science and beyond
  • The contributors are outstanding scholars in their fields with impeccable academic credentials, including Jan J. Koenderink, Irving Biederman, Donald Hoffmann, Steven Zucker and Nikos Logothetis
  • Divided into five parts: Linking Psychophysics and Qualities; Qualities in Space, Time and Motion; Appearances; Measurement and Qualities; Science and Aesthetics of Appearances
  • Each chapter will have the same structure consisting of: topic overview; historical roots; debate; new perspective; methods; results and recent developments
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Table of Contents

About the Editor vii

About the Contributors ix

Preface xiii

Experimental Phenomenology: An Introduction 1
Liliana Albertazzi

Part I Linking Psychophysics and Qualities 37

1 Inferential and Ecological Theories of Visual Perception 39
Joseph S. Lappin

2 Public Objects and Private Qualia: The Scope and Limits of Psychophysics 71
Donald D. Hoffman

3 The Attribute of Realness and the Internal Organization of Perceptual Reality 91
Rainer Mausfeld

4 Multistable Visual Perception as a Gateway to the Neuronal Correlates of Phenomenal Consciousness: The Scope and Limits of Neuroscientifi c Analysis 119
Theofanis I. Panagiotaropoulos and Nikos K. Logothetis

5 Phenomenal Qualities and the Development of Perceptual Integration 145
Mariann Hudák, Zoltan Jakab, and Ilona Kovács

Part II Qualities in Space, Time, and Motion 163

6 Surface Shape, the Science and the Looks 165
Jan J. Koenderink

7 Experimental Phenomenology of Visual 3D Space: Considerations from Evolution, Perception, and Philosophy 181
Dhanraj Vishwanath

8 Spatial and Form-Giving Qualities of Light 205
Sylvia C. Pont

9 Image Motion and the Appearance of Objects 223
Katja Dörschner

10 The Role of Stimulus Properties and Cognitive Processes in the Quality of the Multisensory Perception of Synchrony 243
Argiro Vatakis

Part III Appearances 265

11 Appearances From a Radical Standpoint 267
Liliana Albertazzi

12 How Attention Can Alter Appearances 291
Peter U. Tse, Eric A. Reavis, Peter J. Kohler, Gideon P. Caplovitz, and Thalia Wheatley

13 Illusion and Illusoriness: New Perceptual Issues and New Phenomena 317
Baingio Pinna

14 Qualitative Inference Rules for Perceptual Transparency 343
Osvaldo Da Pos and Luigi Burigana

15 The Perceptual Quality of Color 369
Anya Hurlbert

16 The Aesthetic Appeal of Visual Qualities 395
Gert van Tonder and Branka Spehar

Part IV Measurement and Qualities 415

17 Psychophysical and Neural Correlates of the Phenomenology of Shape 417
Irving Biederman

18 What Are Intermediate-Level Visual Features? 437
Steven W. Zucker

19 Basic Colors and Image Features: The Case for an Analogy 449
Lewis D. Griffin

20 Measuring the Immeasurable: Quantitative Analyses of Perceptual Experiments 477
Luisa Canal and Rocco Micciolo

21 The Non-Accidentalness Principle for Visual Perception 499
Agnès Desolneux, Lionel Moisan, and Jean-Michel Morel

Name Index 515

Subject Index 529

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Author Information

Liliana Albertazzi is a Principal Investigator at the Center for Mind/Brain Sciences (CIMEC), and Professor at the Department of Humanities of Trento University, Italy. Her research investigates phenomenal qualities, and the nature of perceptual space/time and visual operations. She has led a major international project to develop an accurate descriptive theory of appearances on an experimental basis. She is the editor of Perception Beyond Inference: The Information Content of Visual Processes (2011).

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Systematic concern with visual appearances is as oldas modern science but it has not been pursued with the consistency accorded to visual processing.  Galileo interrogated appearances in contrast to the optical approach heralded in his day by Kepler and Scheiner. Now the study of appearances is enjoying a renaissance due in no small part to the novel techniques of experimental phenomenology so clearly expounded in this book.  Its practitioners are neither unified in their methods nor in their theories but they do share dissatisfactions with analyses of perception that sidestep the subjective dimensions which are fundamental features of our experience.—Nicholas Wade, Emeritus Professor, University of Dundee.

This Handbook brings together a distinguished collection of thinkers and researchers who address the subjective nature of visual perception as a science in its own right and who have developed a variety of new methods and concepts to investigate it. This could become an important book that redresses the balance of discussion and debate about what 'seeing' is, and its role in our mental lives.—Mark Georgeson, Professor of Vision Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham.

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