What is Cognitive Science

A Boolean map theory of visual attention

Dr. Liqiang Huang

Thursday, October 19, 2006, 12:00pm - 07:00pm

Princeton University, Center for the Study of Brain, Mind and Behavior (CSBMB)

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A theory is presented that attempts to answer two questions: (1) What visual contents can an observer consciously access at one moment? Answer: only one feature value (e.g. green) per dimension, but those feature values can be associated (as a group) with multiple spatially precise locations (comprising a single labeled Boolean map). (2) How can an observer voluntarily select what to access? Answer: In one of two ways: (a) Creating a Boolean map based on specifications involving just one dimension (e.g. color), or (b) Combining the output of (a) with a preexisting Boolean map via the Boolean operations of intersection and union. Boolean map theory offers a unified interpretation of a wide variety of visual-attention phenomena usually treated in separate literatures. In so doing, it also illuminates the neglected phenomena of attention to structure.

Dr. Liqiang Huang


"What is Cognitive Science?"

This lunchtime talks series is designed to introduce the University community to issues in Cognitive Science. Cognitive Science is one the the few fields where modern developments in computer science and artificial intelligence promise to shed light on classical problems in psychology and the philosophy of the mind. Ancient questions of how we see the world, understand language, and reason, and questions such as 'how a material system can know about the outside world', are being explored with the powerful new conceptual prosthetics of computer modeling.

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