Special Issue "Perceptual Organization from Phenomenology to Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence: Principles, Phenomena, Illusions, and Issues"

A special issue of Brain Sciences (ISSN 2076-3425). This special issue belongs to the section "Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 September 2022 | Viewed by 3543

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Baingio Pinna
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Department of Sciences of Languages, University of Sassari, via Roma 151, 1-07100 Sassari, Italy
Interests: visual illusions; visual processes; perceptual organization; vision science of art; visual design
Prof. Dr. Amedeo D’Angiulli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Neuroscience, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Interests: mental imagery; visual cognition; neuroscience of consciousness; vividness; ecological reliability and validity of imagery; imagery qualia; electroencephalography; event related potentials; Transcranial Direct Current stimulation (TDCs); structural MRI; reaction times modeling; verbal reports and protocol analysis; meta-analytic procedures; systematic research synthesis; brain computer interaction
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Perceptual organization deals with the process by which perceptual inputs and sensory information are structured into wholes, objects, all the meaningful things we perceive in everyday life. The seminal work by psychologist Gestalt led to several stimuli and phenomenal factors and principles ruling organization based on grouping and segregation dynamics. These suggested that elements group together to form wholes that are more than the simple sum of their parts taken separately. More recently, neuroscience defined the neural properties that enable organization. In biological systems, perceptual capability represents the most effective tool for adaptation (to move, acquire food, elude danger, improve adaptive fitness). Artists use these principles to create their artworks. Perceptual organization also provides significant reductions of the computational load through different layers of abstraction. This is the basic element of the good performance of a machine vision system. As a matter of fact, perceptual organization allows assigning computational resources efficiently, which is important in biological and psychological systems given the relative expense of neural tissue from an evolutionary standpoint. Briefly, perceptual organization in all systems, from biological to artificial ones, uses computational resources to extract adaptive organizations. The main purpose of this Special Issue is to put together scientists, scholars, and artists from different disciplines for a multidisciplinary interaction aiming to deeply understand inner problems, principles, phenomena, and illusions related and derived from perceptual organization. The main questions are: what do we really know about perceptual organization? What is perceptual organization within different perspectives? What are the main issues still unexplained? What is the meaning of inner principles? Which are the mistakes, illusions, and paradoxes derived from perceptual organization? What is vividness within the organization of our world? Is there one or many kinds of organizations for different living organisms? Does perceptual organization involve only external objects or even the perceiving subject? How does perceptual organization work in artificial systems such as neural networks? What do we learn from perceptual organization in neural networks? How is consciousness related to perceptual organization?

Prof. Dr. Baingio Pinna
Prof. Dr. Amedeo D’Angiulli
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • perceptual organization
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • illusions
  • inner principles
  • paradoxes
  • consciousness

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Article
Is Reduced Visual Processing the Price of Language?
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(6), 771; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12060771 - 12 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1229
Abstract
We suggest a later timeline for full language capabilities in Homo sapiens, placing the emergence of language over 200,000 years after the emergence of our species. The late Paleolithic period saw several significant changes. Homo sapiens became more gracile and gradually lost significant [...] Read more.
We suggest a later timeline for full language capabilities in Homo sapiens, placing the emergence of language over 200,000 years after the emergence of our species. The late Paleolithic period saw several significant changes. Homo sapiens became more gracile and gradually lost significant brain volumes. Detailed realistic cave paintings disappeared completely, and iconic/symbolic ones appeared at other sites. This may indicate a shift in perceptual abilities, away from an accurate perception of the present. Language in modern humans interact with vision. One example is the McGurk effect. Studies show that artistic abilities may improve when language-related brain areas are damaged or temporarily knocked out. Language relies on many pre-existing non-linguistic functions. We suggest that an overwhelming flow of perceptual information, vision, in particular, was an obstacle to language, as is sometimes implied in autism with relative language impairment. We systematically review the recent research literature investigating the relationship between language and perception. We see homologues of language-relevant brain functions predating language. Recent findings show brain lateralization for communicative gestures in other primates without language, supporting the idea that a language-ready brain may be overwhelmed by raw perception, thus blocking overt language from evolving. We find support in converging evidence for a change in neural organization away from raw perception, thus pushing the emergence of language closer in time. A recent origin of language makes it possible to investigate the genetic origins of language. Full article
Article
Superordinate Categorization Based on the Perceptual Organization of Parts
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(5), 667; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12050667 - 20 May 2022
Viewed by 516
Abstract
Plants and animals are among the most behaviorally significant superordinate categories for humans. Visually assigning objects to such high-level classes is challenging because highly distinct items must be grouped together (e.g., chimpanzees and geckos) while more similar items must sometimes be separated (e.g., [...] Read more.
Plants and animals are among the most behaviorally significant superordinate categories for humans. Visually assigning objects to such high-level classes is challenging because highly distinct items must be grouped together (e.g., chimpanzees and geckos) while more similar items must sometimes be separated (e.g., stick insects and twigs). As both animals and plants typically possess complex multi-limbed shapes, the perceptual organization of shape into parts likely plays a crucial rule in identifying them. Here, we identify a number of distinctive growth characteristics that affect the spatial arrangement and properties of limbs, yielding useful cues for differentiating plants from animals. We developed a novel algorithm based on shape skeletons to create many novel object pairs that differ in their part structure but are otherwise very similar. We found that particular part organizations cause stimuli to look systematically more like plants or animals. We then generated other 110 sequences of shapes morphing from animal- to plant-like appearance by modifying three aspects of part structure: sprouting parts, curvedness of parts, and symmetry of part pairs. We found that all three parameters correlated strongly with human animal/plant judgments. Together our findings suggest that subtle changes in the properties and organization of parts can provide powerful cues in superordinate categorization. Full article
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Article
The Perceptual Organisation of Visual Elements: Lines
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1585; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121585 - 30 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 581
Abstract
The aim of this study is to verify the conditions under which a series of visual stimuli (line segments) will be subjectively perceived as visual lines or surfaces employing four experiments. Two experiments were conducted with the method of subjective evaluation of the [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to verify the conditions under which a series of visual stimuli (line segments) will be subjectively perceived as visual lines or surfaces employing four experiments. Two experiments were conducted with the method of subjective evaluation of the line segments, and the other two with the Osgood semantic differential. We analysed five variables (thickness, type, orientation, and colour) potentially responsible for the lines’ categorisation. The four experiments gave similar results: higher importance of the variables thickness and type; general lower significance of the variable colour; and general insignificance of the variable orientation. Interestingly, for the variable type, straight lines are evaluated as surfaces more frequently than curved lines and perceived as geometrical, flat, hard, static, rough, sharp, bound, sour, frigid, masculine, cold and passive. Curved lines are prevalently evaluated as lines, and categorised as organic, rounded, soft, dynamic, fluffy, blunt, free, sweet, sensual, feminine, warm and active. These results highlight the specificity of perceptual characteristics for the considered variables and confirm the relevance of the characteristics of variables such as thickness and type. Full article
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Brief Report
Time Perception in Cocaine-Dependent Patients
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(6), 745; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12060745 - 06 Jun 2022
Viewed by 457
Abstract
The involvement of the dopamine system in modulating time perception has been widely reported. Clinical conditions (e.g., Parkinson’s disease, addictions) that alter dopaminergic signaling have been shown to affect motor timing and perceived duration. The present study aimed at investigating whether the effects [...] Read more.
The involvement of the dopamine system in modulating time perception has been widely reported. Clinical conditions (e.g., Parkinson’s disease, addictions) that alter dopaminergic signaling have been shown to affect motor timing and perceived duration. The present study aimed at investigating whether the effects of chronic stimulant use on temporal processing are time-interval dependent. All participants performed two different time bisection tasks (480/1920 ms and 1200/2640 ms) in which we analysed the proportion of long responses for each stimulus duration as well as an index of perceived duration and one of sensitivity. Regarding the proportion of long responses, we found no differences between groups in either time bisection task but patients had more variable results than controls did in both tasks. This study provides new insight into temporal processing in stimulant-dependent patients. Regardless of the time interval tested, the results showed comparable temporal ability in patients and controls, but higher temporal variability in patients. This finding is consistent with impairment of frontally-mediated cognitive functions involved in time perception rather than impairment in time processing per se. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Multidisciplinary Intersections on Artificial-Human Vividness, Perceptual Representing, and Phenomenology

Authors: Violetta Molokopoy and Amedeo D’Angiulli

 

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