Re: Cognitive architecture

From: Harnad, Stevan (
Date: Mon Feb 24 1997 - 21:23:57 GMT

> From: Hawkins, Sean <>
> I remember reading about a guy in the late 1800s who for some strange
> reason decided to wear glasses which inverted the world. He reported
> that over the first few days, it was rather strange seeing things
> upside down but after that, his perceptual system had obviously calmed
> down and he encountered no problems. In fact, he had to constantly say
> to himself that he was viewing upside down - it was that natural. I
> think he removed the spectacles after about three weeks and had the
> same re-adjustment problems as when he first wore them.
> This I think shows that habituation must may play some part in the
> perceptual system. I am not sure whether this guy's cognitive
> penetration was able to override a perceptual system that strongly and
> constantly informed him his world was upside down but certainly
> physiologically, there were no problems. I guess this is similar in
> some respects to an ongoing illusion!

Habituation and adaptation to displacing prisms is not cognitive
penetration. You can tell yourself it's really upside down as
long as you want, it is only after you (cognitively impenetrable)
visuomotor system adapts that you see things right again.

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