Special Issue "Selected Papers from the Symposium on Perception and Cognition and Kanizsa Lecture 2021"

A special issue of Vision (ISSN 2411-5150).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (22 March 2022) | Viewed by 3633

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Gianluca Campana
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of General Psychology, University of Padova, Padova, Italy
Interests: visual psychophysics; visual motion perception; perceptual priming; perceptual learning; amblyopia; TMS; tRNS
Dr. Luca Battaglini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of General Psychology, University of Padova, Padova, Italy
Interests: vision; psychology; perceptual learning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the Symposium on Perception and Cognition, and the Kanizsa Lecture 2021.

Gaetano Kanizsa, full professor at university of Trieste for 35 years, was a dominant figure in Italian psychology. His focus of scientific interest was the study of visual perception and he owned his international fame, investigating amodal completion and “subjective contours”. The famous triangle was presented for the first time at the 10th Conference of Italian Psychologist in Chianciano.

This year, the event will be hosted on the historical Palazzo del Bo’, at the University of Padova, Italy on the 22nd of October 2021. These events are part of the celebrations organised as the University of Padova approaches its 800 anniversary in the year 2022. Both symposium and Kanizsa Lecture will be also broadcasted online. The event is free of charge. For more information:

https://dpg.unipd.it/en/percup/kanizsa-lecture

The Kanizsa Lecture, a public event traditionally organized by the University of Trieste in honour of Gaetano Kanizsa, will be organized this year by the University of Padova and delivered by Professor Michael Herzog. Title of the lecture is “The Irreducibility of Vision: Gestalt, Crowding and the Fundamental of Vision.”

The same day as the Kanizsa Lecture, the Symposium on Perception and Cognition will take place, starting from 9:00am. The Symposium will feature original research on any aspects of perception and cognition.

If you wish to contribute with a presentation (talk only) to the Symposium, please submit your proposal by e-mail to [email protected] Each proposal should be submitted as an abstract. Deadline for submissions: Friday 22 September 2021.

Submitted abstracts will be reviewed by a scientific committee and, if accepted, published as conference proceedings on Vision. Following the conference, outstanding contributions will be invited to submit manuscripts for publication in a Special Issue of Vision that highlights the work presented at the conference. The best manuscripts will have a fee waiver for publication.

We hope to see you in Padova!

Prof. Dr. Gianluca Campana
Dr. Luca Battaglini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Vision is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

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Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
Similarity and Dissimilarity in Perceptual Organization: On the Complexity of the Gestalt Principle of Similarity
Vision 2022, 6(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/vision6030039 - 28 Jun 2022
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Abstract
The main purpose of this work is to explore the Gestalt principle of similarity and to demonstrate that the use of this term alone is not sufficient to understand the dynamics of grouping fully and correctly. More generally, this work aims to show [...] Read more.
The main purpose of this work is to explore the Gestalt principle of similarity and to demonstrate that the use of this term alone is not sufficient to understand the dynamics of grouping fully and correctly. More generally, this work aims to show that the Gestalt principle of similarity alone is not sufficient for a full understanding of perceptual organization occurring both in the classical and mostly in the new phenomena here presented. Limits and incompleteness of the similarity principle have suggested the basic, more general and stronger role of dissimilarity in perceptual grouping under a large variety of conditions. Dissimilarity was shown as a basic principle of figure–ground segregation, as a tool useful to create at will new groups and visual objects within patterns where they are totally invisible, as an attribute that is able to accentuate different shape components within the same object, as a way to distort shapes and create visual illusions, but also to reduce or annul them and, finally, to decompose, ungroup and reshape single objects. The results demonstrated the necessity to introduce a principle of dissimilarity that is complementary to similarity as already studied by Gestalt psychologists. Full article
Article
Parietal Alpha Oscillatory Peak Frequency Mediates the Effect of Practice on Visuospatial Working Memory Performance
Vision 2022, 6(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/vision6020030 - 31 May 2022
Viewed by 478
Abstract
Visuospatial working memory (WM) requires the activity of a spread network, including right parietal regions, to sustain storage capacity, attentional deployment, and active manipulation of information. Notably, while the electrophysiological correlates of such regions have been explored using many different indices, evidence for [...] Read more.
Visuospatial working memory (WM) requires the activity of a spread network, including right parietal regions, to sustain storage capacity, attentional deployment, and active manipulation of information. Notably, while the electrophysiological correlates of such regions have been explored using many different indices, evidence for a functional involvement of the individual frequency peaks in the alpha (IAF) and theta bands (ITF) is still poor despite their relevance in many influential theories regarding WM. Interestingly, there is also a parallel lack of literature about the effect of short-term practice on WM performance. Here, we aim to clarify whether the simple repetition of a change-detection task might be beneficial to WM performance and to which degree these effects could be predicted by IAF and ITF. For this purpose, 25 healthy participants performed a change-detection task at baseline and in a retest session, while IAF and ITF were also measured. Results show that task repetition improves WM performance. In addition, right parietal IAF, but not ITF, accounts for performance gain such that faster IAF predicts higher performance gain. Our findings align with recent literature suggesting that the faster the posterior alpha, the finer the perceptual sampling rate, and the higher the WM performance gain. Full article
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Article
Mechanisms Underlying Directional Motion Processing and Form-Motion Integration Assessed with Visual Perceptual Learning
Vision 2022, 6(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/vision6020029 - 31 May 2022
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Abstract
Dynamic Glass patterns (GPs) are visual stimuli commonly employed to study form–motion interactions. There is brain imaging evidence that non-directional motion induced by dynamic GPs and directional motion induced by random dot kinematograms (RDKs) depend on the activity of the human motion complex [...] Read more.
Dynamic Glass patterns (GPs) are visual stimuli commonly employed to study form–motion interactions. There is brain imaging evidence that non-directional motion induced by dynamic GPs and directional motion induced by random dot kinematograms (RDKs) depend on the activity of the human motion complex (hMT+). However, whether dynamic GPs and RDKs rely on the same processing mechanisms is still up for dispute. The current study uses a visual perceptual learning (VPL) paradigm to try to answer this question. Identical pre- and post-tests were given to two groups of participants, who had to discriminate random/noisy patterns from coherent form (dynamic GPs) and motion (RDKs). Subsequently, one group was trained on dynamic translational GPs, whereas the other group on RDKs. On the one hand, the generalization of learning to the non-trained stimulus would indicate that the same mechanisms are involved in the processing of both dynamic GPs and RDKs. On the other hand, learning specificity would indicate that the two stimuli are likely to be processed by separate mechanisms possibly in the same cortical network. The results showed that VPL is specific to the stimulus trained, suggesting that directional and non-directional motion may depend on different neural mechanisms. Full article
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Article
Pitch–Luminance Crossmodal Correspondence in the Baby Chick: An Investigation on Predisposed and Learned Processes
Vision 2022, 6(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/vision6020024 - 28 Apr 2022
Viewed by 694
Abstract
Our senses are constantly reached by a multitude of stimuli from all different sensory modalities. To create a coherent representation of the environment, we must integrate the various unimodal inputs that refer to the same object into a single multimodal representation. In some [...] Read more.
Our senses are constantly reached by a multitude of stimuli from all different sensory modalities. To create a coherent representation of the environment, we must integrate the various unimodal inputs that refer to the same object into a single multimodal representation. In some cases, however, we tend to bind certain properties of the stimuli without any apparent reason, which is a phenomenon named crossmodal correspondence. For instance, we match a spiky or a rounded shape with the sound “Kiki” or “Bouba”, respectively. Similarly, we associate the left hemispace with low luminance and the right one with high luminance. Instances of crossmodal correspondences were described also in other mammals, and recently, a case of space-luminance crossmodal correspondence was reported in birds (i.e., domestic chicks). Here, we investigate the presence of pitch–luminance crossmodal correspondence in three-day-old chicks, employing experimental methods that exploit either predisposed or learned processes. While failing to report evidence for this phenomenon, we discuss the difference between statistical and structural crossmodal correspondences and the possible role of environmental factors in determining their emergence. Moreover, we discuss the importance of the different experimental methodologies to investigate distinct aspects of this perceptual phenomenon to reach a deeper understanding and unveil the role of innate vs. learned mechanisms. Full article
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Review

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Review
The Irreducibility of Vision: Gestalt, Crowding and the Fundamentals of Vision
Vision 2022, 6(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/vision6020035 - 15 Jun 2022
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Abstract
What is fundamental in vision has been discussed for millennia. For philosophical realists and the physiological approach to vision, the objects of the outer world are truly given, and failures to perceive objects properly, such as in illusions, are just sporadic misperceptions. The [...] Read more.
What is fundamental in vision has been discussed for millennia. For philosophical realists and the physiological approach to vision, the objects of the outer world are truly given, and failures to perceive objects properly, such as in illusions, are just sporadic misperceptions. The goal is to replace the subjectivity of the mind by careful physiological analyses. Continental philosophy and the Gestaltists are rather skeptical or ignorant about external objects. The percepts themselves are their starting point, because it is hard to deny the truth of one own′s percepts. I will show that, whereas both approaches can well explain many visual phenomena with classic visual stimuli, they both have trouble when stimuli become slightly more complex. I suggest that these failures have a deeper conceptual reason, namely that their foundations (objects, percepts) do not hold true. I propose that only physical states exist in a mind independent manner and that everyday objects, such as bottles and trees, are perceived in a mind-dependent way. The fundamental processing units to process objects are extended windows of unconscious processing, followed by short, discrete conscious percepts. Full article
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Review
Illusional Perspective across Humans and Bees
Vision 2022, 6(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/vision6020028 - 31 May 2022
Viewed by 422
Abstract
For two centuries, visual illusions have attracted the attention of neurobiologists and comparative psychologists, given the possibility of investigating the complexity of perceptual mechanisms by using relatively simple patterns. Animal models, such as primates, birds, and fish, have played a crucial role in [...] Read more.
For two centuries, visual illusions have attracted the attention of neurobiologists and comparative psychologists, given the possibility of investigating the complexity of perceptual mechanisms by using relatively simple patterns. Animal models, such as primates, birds, and fish, have played a crucial role in understanding the physiological circuits involved in the susceptibility of visual illusions. However, the comprehension of such mechanisms is still a matter of debate. Despite their different neural architectures, recent studies have shown that some arthropods, primarily Hymenoptera and Diptera, experience illusions similar to those humans do, suggesting that perceptual mechanisms are evolutionarily conserved among species. Here, we review the current state of illusory perception in bees. First, we introduce bees’ visual system and speculate which areas might make them susceptible to illusory scenes. Second, we review the current state of knowledge on misperception in bees (Apidae), focusing on the visual stimuli used in the literature. Finally, we discuss important aspects to be considered before claiming that a species shows higher cognitive ability while equally supporting alternative hypotheses. This growing evidence provides insights into the evolutionary origin of visual mechanisms across species. Full article
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Other

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Perspective
Perspectives on the Combined Use of Electric Brain Stimulation and Perceptual Learning in Vision
Vision 2022, 6(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/vision6020033 - 14 Jun 2022
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Abstract
A growing body of literature offers exciting perspectives on the use of brain stimulation to boost training-related perceptual improvements in humans. Recent studies suggest that combining visual perceptual learning (VPL) training with concomitant transcranial electric stimulation (tES) leads to learning rate and generalization [...] Read more.
A growing body of literature offers exciting perspectives on the use of brain stimulation to boost training-related perceptual improvements in humans. Recent studies suggest that combining visual perceptual learning (VPL) training with concomitant transcranial electric stimulation (tES) leads to learning rate and generalization effects larger than each technique used individually. Both VPL and tES have been used to induce neural plasticity in brain regions involved in visual perception, leading to long-lasting visual function improvements. Despite being more than a century old, only recently have these techniques been combined in the same paradigm to further improve visual performance in humans. Nonetheless, promising evidence in healthy participants and in clinical population suggests that the best could still be yet to come for the combined use of VPL and tES. In the first part of this perspective piece, we briefly discuss the history, the characteristics, the results and the possible mechanisms behind each technique and their combined effect. In the second part, we discuss relevant aspects concerning the use of these techniques and propose a perspective concerning the combined use of electric brain stimulation and perceptual learning in the visual system, closing with some open questions on the topic. Full article
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