On 3/7/2013 9:14 PM, Terren Suydam wrote:
Right, we basically agree. At the low level where optics are being processed, it seems to me to be more accurate to say the brain is creating the constructions. Another way to say it is that kittens and babies are probably born with the neural circuits that implement those shortcuts - optimizations implemented through genetics. Whereas with the kind of construction that is created by the mind, it seems to me that those constructions live at a higher level - the psychological - and arise as a result of experience and learning. I don't really think that is what's going on with optical illusions since they are so universal. But that is quibbling - whichever of us is more correct, it's beside the point regarding whether optical illusions have a mechanistic explanation.

OK then, I would rather work with you on figuring this puzzle out than spar with you over "who has the best explanation". ;-)


On Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 6:57 PM, Stephen P. King <stephe...@charter.net <mailto:stephe...@charter.net>> wrote:

    On 3/7/2013 6:09 PM, Terren Suydam wrote:
    The same way it explains it for humans. The cat is not sensing
    the world directly, but the constructions created by its brain.

    Hi Terren,

        I almost agree, I only add that it is not just the brain of
    the cat (or human or whatever) that is being sensed, the mind is
    involved in the construction as well.

    Those constructions involve shortcuts of various kinds (e.g. edge
    detection) optimized for the kinds of environments that cats have
    thrived in, from an evolutionary standpoint. Those shortcuts are
    what lead to optical illusions. Optical illusions are stimuli
    that expose the shortcuts for what they are.  There is nothing
    about the fact that it's a cat that makes this any harder to
    explain in mechanistic terms.

        Sure, and the mind as well.

    It is interesting because it suggests that cats employ at least
    one of the same shortcuts as we do, which further suggests that
    the visual optimizations that lead to optical illusions are much
    older than humans. And while that is not a very controversial
    claim, it is cool to have some evidence for it.

        Yes, I have to show this to my friends that are studying
    pattern recognition.


    On Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 5:14 PM, Stephen P. King
    <stephe...@charter.net <mailto:stephe...@charter.net>> wrote:

        On 3/7/2013 11:36 AM, Terren Suydam wrote:
        I have no doubt that Craig will somehow see this as a
        vindication of his theory and a refutation of mechanism.


        On Wed, Mar 6, 2013 at 5:27 PM, Stephen P. King
        <stephe...@charter.net <mailto:stephe...@charter.net>> wrote:



         Hi Terren,

           How does Mechanism explain this? Will /The Amazing Randy/
        <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Randi> be pushed forward
        to loudly claim that the cat was really chasing a laser dot
        that the video camera could not capture?




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