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Psychophysical and cognitive aspects of categorical perception: A critical overview

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

ABSTRACT: Categorization is a very basic cognitive activity. It is involved in any task that calls for differential responding, from operant discrimination to pattern recognition to naming and describing objects and states-of-affairs. Explanations of categorization range from nativist theories denying that any nontrivial categories are acquired by learning to inductivist theories claiming that most categories are learned. "Categorical perception" (CP) is the name given to a suggestive perceptual phenomenon that may serve as a useful model for categorization in general: For certain perceptual categories, within-category differences look much smaller than between-category differences even when they are of the same size physically. For example, in color perception, differences between reds and differences between yellows look much smaller than equal-sized differences that cross the red/yellow boundary; the same is true of the phoneme categories /ba/ and /da/. Indeed, the effect of the category boundary is not merely quantitative, but qualitative.

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Citation

Harnad, Stevan, (1987) Psychophysical and cognitive aspects of categorical perception: A critical overview Harnad, Stevan (ed.) In Categorical Perception: The Groundwork of Cognition. Cambridge University Press., pp. 1-25.

More information

Published date: 1987
Additional Information: Address: Cambridge UK
Venue - Dates: Categorical Perception: The Groundwork of Cognition, 1987-01-01
Organisations: Web & Internet Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 250386
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/250386
ISBN: 0-521-26758-7
PURE UUID: 1cf1b46b-5786-42bf-b3ef-ab7afffca348

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Date deposited: 06 May 1999
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 10:42

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Contributors

Author: Stevan Harnad
Editor: Stevan Harnad

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