Cognitive Penetration, Perceptual Learning and Neural Plasticity

Dialectica 68 (1):63-95 (2014)
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Cognitive penetration of perception, broadly understood, is the influence that the cognitive system has on a perceptual system. The paper shows a form of cognitive penetration in the visual system which I call ‘architectural’. Architectural cognitive penetration is the process whereby the behaviour or the structure of the perceptual system is influenced by the cognitive system, which consequently may have an impact on the content of the perceptual experience. I scrutinize a study in perceptual learning that provides empirical evidence that cognitive influences in the visual system produce neural reorganization in the primary visual cortex. The type of cognitive penetration can be synchronic and diachronic.

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Ariel Cecchi
University College London


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