Cognitive Science Lunchtime Talk
Lecturer in the Council of the Humanities & Department of Philosophy
Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows
Artifacts & Agnosia
I consider an argument that the condition known as associative visual form agnosia supports the view that typical subjects visually perceive artifactual features, such as being a guitar or being a cup. Agnosic patients are impaired in their ability to categorize visually presented objects, even though their visual perception appears to be normal with respect to basic visual features. On one view, what distinguishes agnosics from typical perceivers is that agnosics' visual experiences are devoid of artifactual features, whereas typical perceivers visually perceive artifactual features. I argue that the empirical evidence better supports a view on which agnosics cannot simultaneously visually integrate multiple spatial features. Agnosia is thus not due to an absence of artifactual perception per se, and agnosia therefore does not suggest a reason to think that typical subjects visually perceive artifactual features.