noon to 1:30 p.m., April 19, 2024

Mary Peterson, Ph.D.
Professor, Psychology & Cognitive Science
University of Arizona

Mary Peterson


Zoom: https://arizona.zoom.us/j/87243027593

There’s More to Object Detection than Meets the Eye: Evidence for a Dynamical Interactive Theory of Conscious Object Detection

How does conscious object detection occur? A critical component is the determination of which borders in the input are boundaries of objects. In the 20th century, the predominant view was that object detection was a feedforward process based on image features only (an exclusive view). Research in my laboratory supports an alternative view in which viewers’ experience is also a factor and ambiguity precedes conscious object detection. Prospective objects on opposite sides of borders compete to be perceived; their meaning as well as their shape is activated unconsciously; and feedback as well as feedforward processing precedes object detection. We show that ambiguity occurs and is resolved unconsciously even when one outcome is nearly universally perceived. Our data support a Bayesian account in which cortico-cortical and cortico-thalamic feedback precedes object detection.


Janet Nicol