kisrael.com | archive | 2010 jul | geon and on and on and on

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(2) geon and on and on and on
2010.07.29
In Pinker's "How The Mind Works" he touches on "Geons" -- a theory that the brain uses a smallish set of basic visual/structural elements (akin to atoms, but on a larger level) to remember what things look like, and identify them later, even if the image we're looking at is at a funny angle, in different colors, etc. Here's an example, showing 5 Geons and some common objects that could be described with them:
I am very bummed that I can't find a "complete" list with all 24 Geons anywhere online. It's an intriguing idea though, complete with some nice testable implications. (It's not 100% complete in terms of describing how we identify things in theworld, but -- as Pinker argues at length -- the brain may also have a set of additional task-specific subsystems, for example, a different way of identifying and "reading" faces, and that would not destroy the basic theory.

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