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Measuring the World: Olfaction as a Process Model of Perception

Barwich, Ann-Sophie (2018) Measuring the World: Olfaction as a Process Model of Perception. Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology.

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Abstract

How much does stimulus input shape perception? The common-sense view is that our
perceptions are representations of objects and their features and that the stimulus structures the perceptual object. The problem for this view concerns perceptual biases as responsible for distortions and the subjectivity of perceptual experience. These biases are increasingly studied as constitutive factors of brain processes in recent neuroscience. In neural network models the brain is said to cope with the plethora of sensory information by predicting stimulus regularities on the basis of previous experiences. Drawing on this development, this chapter analyses perceptions as processes. Looking at olfaction as a model system, it argues for the need to abandon a stimulus- centred perspective, where smells are thought of as stable percepts, computationally linked to external objects such as odorous molecules. Perception here is presented as a measure of changing signal ratios in an environment informed by expectancy effects from top-down processes.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Barwich, Ann-Sophieab4221@columbia.edu0000-0003-0123-9366
Keywords: anticipation; computationalism; forecasting; neural networks; neuroscience; olfaction; perceptual bias; predictive coding; smell
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Depositing User: Dr. Ann-Sophie Barwich
Date Deposited: 30 May 2018 15:29
Last Modified: 30 May 2018 15:29
Item ID: 14721
Journal or Publication Title: Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Date: 2018
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14721

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