Perceptual variation in object perception: A defence of perceptual pluralism

In Aleksandra Mroczko-Wąsowicz & Rick Grush (eds.), Sensory individuals: unimodal and multimodal perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 113–129 (2023)
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The basis of perception is the processing and categorization of perceptual stimuli from the environment. Much progress has been made in the science of perceptual categorization. Yet there is still no consensus on how the brain generates sensory individuals, from sensory input and perceptual categories in memory. This chapter argues that perceptual categorization is highly variable across perceivers due to their use of different perceptual strategies for solving perceptual problems they encounter, and that the perceptual system structurally adjusts to the strategies that are most successful. Despite this variability, the different sensory individuals that result when different perceivers rely on different strategies nonetheless correspond to actual external world objects/features. This view is called 'perceptual pluralism'.

Author Profiles

Thomas Alrik Sørensen
Aalborg University
Berit Brogaard
University of Miami


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