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Active perception

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The theory of active perception is that perception and action are the same thing. It states that when a person sees an action done, it is automatically translates into an action that they do. This results in people often doing what they see others doing.[1]

Active AttentionEdit

Active attention is part of the broader theory of ecological perception, although it is a bit older. It was developed by the gestalt psychologists in the 1930s,[2] and refined by Gibson in the 1960s and 1970s.[3] The theory has never died, although for the approximately 80 years that it has been around, it has somehow always been considered a niche area of psychology. It has had little traction in medicine, for instance, until recently, when a series of coherent hypotheses proposed that active perception is the basis for developmental disorders and psychiatric symptoms.[4][5][6][7]

The recognition of objects and opportunities (or affordances) as they are called by Gibson, is a function of the active perception. A glass of water is recognized through the act of drinking, and a book by reading. The fact that most people don't read every book that comes their way or drink every glass of water is thought to be a function of a secondary inhibition process,[8] thus people with damaged inhibitory circuitry (in the frontal lobe of the brain) have no choice but to act in the face of perception. The classic examples are in the studies of environmental dependence syndrome and utilization behavior by.[9]

CounterargumentEdit

An argument against active perception is that people also see things that they don't recognize.

ReferencesEdit

  1. (Bargh & Dijksterhuis, 2001, p. 3)
  2. Koffka, 1936
  3. Gibson, 1979, The Ecological Theory of Perception, Haughton and Mifflin, Boston
  4. Avenanti, A., & Urgesi, C. (2011). Understanding 'what' others do: mirror mechanisms play a crucial role in action perception. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 6(3), 257-259. DOI:10.1093/scan/nsr004
  5. Buccino, G., & Amore, M. (2008). Mirror neurons and the understanding of behavioural symptoms in psychiatric disorders. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 21(3), 281.
  6. Golembiewski, J. (2012). All common psychotic symptoms can be explained by the theory of ecological perception. Medical Hypotheses, 78, 7-10. DOI:10.1016/j.mehy.2011.09.029
  7. Rizzolatti, G., Fabbri-Destro, M., & Cattaneo, L. (2009). Mirror neurons and their clinical relevance. Nature Clinical Practice Neurology, 5(1), 24-34.
  8. Golembiewski, J. (2012). All common psychotic symptoms can be explained by the theory of ecological perception. Medical Hypotheses, 78, 7-10. DOI:10.1016/j.mehy.2011.09.029
  9. Avenanti, A., & Urgesi, C. (2011). Understanding 'what' others do: mirror mechanisms play a crucial role in action perception. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 6(3), 257-259. DOI:10.1093/scan/nsr004 Bargh, J., & Dijksterhuis, A. (2001). The perception-behavior expressway: Automatic effects of social perception on social behavior. Advances in experimental social psychology, 33, 1-40. Buccino, G., & Amore, M. (2008). Mirror neurons and the understanding of behavioural symptoms in psychiatric disorders. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 21(3), 281. Gibson, J. J. (1979). The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Golembiewski, J. (2012). All common psychotic symptoms can be explained by the theory of ecological perception. Medical Hypotheses, 78, 7-10. DOI:10.1016/j.mehy.2011.09.029 Koffka, K. (1936). Principles of Gestalt Psychology. London: Routeledge and Kegan Paul. Lhermitte, F. (1983). 'Utilization Behavior' and its relation to leisons of the frontal lobes. Brain, 106(2), 237-255. DOI:10.1093/brain/106.2.237 Lhermitte, F. (1986). Human autonomy and the frontal lobes. Part II: Patient behavior in complex and social situations: The 'environmental Dependency Syndrome'. Annals of Neurology, 19(4), 335-343. DOI:10.1002/ana.410190405 Lhermitte, F., Pillon, B., & Serdaru, M. (1986). Human autonomy and the frontal lobes. Part I: Imitation and utilization behavior: A neuropsychological study of 75 patients. Annals of Neurology, 19(4), 326-334. DOI:10.1002/ana.410190404
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