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Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA Vol. 96, pp. 76117613, July 1999

Summary: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA
Vol. 96, pp. 76117613, July 1999
More than one way to see it move?
Thomas D. Albright
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA 92037
A dominant 19th-century view on the nature of visual perception,
known as ``elementism,'' held that any percept is no more and no
less than the sum of the internal states caused by the individual
sensory parts (or elements), such as brightness, color, and dis-
tance. Elementism is easily falsifiable, but the idea of linearly
independent internal states is so compelling to a reductionist
neuroscience that it has been dragged from the dustbin repeatedly
over the last 100 years--in conjunction with the more familiar
19th-century doctrine on brain organization known as ``localiza-
tion of function.'' A sensational case in point is a hypothesis put
forward in the 1980s that maintains that there are multiple
independent channels in the primate visual system, extending
from retina through several stages in the cerebral cortex, each of
which is specialized for the processing of distinct elements of the


Source: Albright, Tom - Vision Center Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies


Collections: Biology and Medicine