Tuesday 26 October 2010

Visual perception of coordinated rhythmic movements

Other coordination posts are here.

Fontaine et al (1997) and Wenderoth et al (2002) had empirically established that a key prediction of the dynamic pattern hypothesis was false: learning was easier closer to 0° than it was to 180°. The HKB attractor layout did not appear to be pulling behaviour in the expected manner; what was going on?

Tuesday 19 October 2010

The Ames Room and the Bower Bird

A recent study (Endler et al, 2010) has shown that bowerbirds take advantage of forced perspective (the Ames Room effect) in the construction of their bowers. This study has a few interesting things to say on the topic of the origin of the Ames Room effect and the likelihood of equivalent configurations popping up by chance. (This article got a lot of popular press when it came out: Ed Yong at Not Exactly Rocket Science covered it best here.)

Thursday 14 October 2010

Is it time to abandon the cognitive / non-cognitive distinction?

We've been having some good debates with Ken Azawa over at The Bounds of Cognition and Gary Williams at Minds and Brains. A recurring theme is where to draw the line between the cognitive and the non-cognitive. A lot hinges on this distinction. For example, whether we consider things external to the brain to be coupled with a cognitive process or to constitute a cognitive process depends on what we're willing to call "cognitive." Ken has written extensively about this on his blog, but this is a simple summary of the problem: [T]he coupling-constitution distinction comes down to a distinction between X causing, or being caused by, a cognitive process, versus X being a cognitive process.

Wednesday 6 October 2010

Runeson, the Ames Room and the Irrelevance of Equivalent Configurations

Recently we’ve been discussing several topics with Ken Aizawa at his blog, The Bounds of Cognition; there are several posts brewing from the two of us on this, but some travelling (plus, for me, a broken wrist) has slowed things a little.

I want to spend some time talking about some recent discussions on aperture vision and the Ames Room. This post will go over two papers on the Ames Room; the next few will discuss some of the more interesting points about the ecological approach that came out of the discussion with Ken. This is a really rich topic, and there’s a lot of ground. First, though, we need the set up.