Institut Jean Nicod

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 Workshop “Representations in Perception” 



January 29th, 2013, at 29 rue d’ulm 75005, salle Langevin
(Paris, France).

The aim of this workshop is to discuss the theoretical aspects of conscious perception, with insights from different areas of the perception research field (refer to the abstract below). It will take the shape of small interventions with ample free discussion time (refer to the program).

Organizers :

Victor Benichoux (Equipe Audition/LPP, ENS/Paris 5)
Jean Remy Martin (Institut Jean Nicod, ENS, UPMC) Contact


Representation In Perception

The early discovery of neuronal representations in the brain, such as edge-sensitive cells in the visual cortex, has led to the view of the brain as an information-processing system. Thus the perception sciences community usually assumes that perception is a hierarchy of computations performed on increasingly abstract representations of the stimulus. Without these representations, achievement of perceptions of the kind one ordinarily experiences would be, presumably, impossible.
Nonetheless, some current counterflow theories argue for an alternative view in which perceptual processes detect invariants in the structure of the stimuli (e.g. physical or sensorimotor invariants). In this view, reminiscent of Gibson’s ecological theory, perception is regarded as a non-representational system. In other words, perception would be a sort of (invariants) direct apprehension system.
An interesting issue is whether the debate between representationalists and neo-Gibsonians at the subpersonal level is linked to an analogous debate in the philosophy of perception, namely whether perception should be conceived as a representation of, or as a relation to, the world. One question is whether direct realism can be reconcilied with the view of the brain as a system manipulating representations.
These debates about the relevance of the notion of representation are reflected in many domains of cognitive sciences, namely in psychology (e.g. sensorimotor theory), analytical philosophy (e.g., direct realism), but also computational modeling, etc... The purpose of this workshop is to shed different lights on this problem, through interventions of speakers with pluridisciplinary backgrounds but similar interest in this fundamental aspect of perception research.



IEC open access workshop

Welcoming breakfast

Romain Brette (LPP, ENS/DEC) :
Representations in computational neuroscience

Kevin O’Regan (LPP, Université Paris Descartes/CNRS) : Constructing space : A theoretical basis for how artificial or biological agents can construct the basic notion of spatial displacement

Lunch break

Pascal Mamassian (LPP, Université Paris Descartes/CNRS) :
Is gain control the key to achieve invariance in a representational system ?

Jérôme Dokic (IJN, EHESS/ENS/DEC) :
Perceptual Representations or Relations ? Can’t we have both ?