Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Pylyshyn: Vision and cognition

Cognitive impenetrability of early vision does not imply cognitive impenetrability of perception

Cathleen M. Moore a1
a1 Department of Psychology, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802


Pylyshyn argues that early vision is cognitively impenetrable, and therefore – contrary to knowledge-based theories of perception – that perception is noncontinuous with cognition. Those processes that are included in “early vision,” however, represent at best only one component of perception, and it is important that it is not the component with which most knowledge-based theories are concerned. Pylyshyn's analysis should be taken as a possible source of refinement of knowledge-based theories of perception, rather than as a condemnation of them.