Infotropism as the underlying principle of perceptual organization

Thornton, Chris (2014) Infotropism as the underlying principle of perceptual organization. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 61. pp. 38-44. ISSN 0022-2496

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Whether perceptual organization favors the simplest or most likely interpretation of a distal stimulus has long been debated. An unbridgeable gulf has seemed to separate these, the Gestalt and Helmholtzian viewpoints. But in recent decades, the proposal that likelihood and simplicity are two sides of the same coin has been gaining ground, to the extent that their equivalence is now widely assumed. What then arises is a desire to know whether the two principles can be reduced to one. Applying Occam's Razor in this way is particularly desirable given that, as things stand, an account referencing one principle alone cannot be completely satisfactory. The present paper argues that unification of the two principles is possible, and that it can be achieved in terms of an incremental notion of `information seeking' (infotropism). Perceptual processing that is infotropic can be shown to target both simplicity and likelihood. The ability to see perceptual organization as governed by either objective can then be explained in terms of it being an infotropic process. Infotropism can be identified as the principle which underlies, and thus generalizes the principles of likelihood and simplicity.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0311 Consciousness. Cognition
Depositing User: Chris Thornton
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2015 10:28
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2019 09:42

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