President’s Executive Order Outlines Crucial Role for Psychology & Allied Sciences

President’s Executive Order Outlines Crucial Role for Psychology and Allied Sciences in Serving Society: Get Involved Today! Amidst all the glum news about government support for behavioral science research, a hopeful note was sounded in an historic executive order issued by the U. S. President on September 15, 2015. For the first time, a President has […]

Continue Reading

Mental effort is contagious

Most beings are social, and thus sensitive to the presence of others around them. Even cockroaches perform differently when they are being observed by other members of Blatta orientalis. In this respect, people are no different: we tend to perform simple tasks better when in the presence of other people. There is now a large body of evidence concerning […]

Continue Reading

Trumping Bonferroni to keep your ANOVAs honest

Chemists have test tubes and Bunsen burners. Astronomers have telescopes, computer scientists have computers, and psychologists and cognitive scientists have ANOVAs. If there is one tool that is being used across virtually all domains of psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience, it is the Analysis of Variance or ANOVA. Somewhat ironically, ANOVA does not actually test […]

Continue Reading

Exploring the interface theory of perception: Reply to more commentaries

This post was co-authored by Manish Singh of Rutgers University and Chetan Prakash of California State University, San Bernardino. A new theory in science, like the new offspring of an altricial species, needs an initial phase of development under the care of its progenitors. With the wane of this phase, its fitness must be tested in the rough and […]

Continue Reading

Is Interface Theory a Special Case of Q-morphs or Full-blown Solipsism?

In their Interface Theory of Perception, Hoffman, Singh, and Prakash argue for the role of evolution in human perception. This is a claim that is undoubtedly true and with which few modern perceptual scientists would disagree. But neither is it particularly novel. But then they follow this claim so its logical extreme, ending in solipsism (the […]

Continue Reading

#interfacetheory: True enough

In 1625, the astronomer Christopher Scheiner confirmed Johann Kepler’s hunch that images projected to the retina through the crystalline lens of the eye, much like images passed through telescope lenses, were inverted. Up was down, down was up. This observation stymied many philosophers and scientists into the 20th century. Why, if the images formed on the retina of […]

Continue Reading

Mind that Epistemic Gap! Perceptions Reside Within, not Outside of, Reality

Hoffman and colleagues propose the Interface Theory of Perception (ITP), which asserts that perceptions evolved to render organisms sensitive to the objective world in terms of payoffs, or fitness functions, not truth. According to ITP, “…perception is about having kids, not seeing truth”, so evolution ensures that perceptual representations simplify an organism’s search for survival/reproduction-relevant dimensions. Accordingly, […]

Continue Reading

#interfacetheory: Our species-specific desktop

Tomorrow, Monday 21st September 2015, a collection of papers will appear in the Psychonomic Bulletin & Review that are dedicated to the Interface Theory of Perception. The theory is proposed by Donald Hoffman, Manish Singh, and Chetan Prakash in a major article and is followed by a collection of scholarly comments and a reply to those comments by Hoffman […]

Continue Reading

Objects here, objects there, objects everywhere.

Most objects that surround us seem familiar and are easily identifiable even when viewed from the corner of our eyes. We are so quick to identify objects that it almost seems trivial, but just like speech production, object recognition is quite complex. How is object recognition actually achieved? Of course knowing what objects tend to be […]

Continue Reading