#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 and colleagues.

In a nutshell, interface theory postulates that our perception operates like a species-specific desktop: We perceive the world in representations that do not represent the “truth” about the world as it actually is, but that are useful “icons” which represent fitness-relevant information about the world. To illustrate, imagine a world in which red and green berries are nutritious but blue and yellow berries make you sick. Will your perceptual system differentiate red from green and blue from yellow? According to interface theory, the answer is no—the organism will have evolved to differentiate between only two colors, namely gred and byellue.

The Featured Content website will run a week-long digital event, also starting tomorrow, to accompany the release of Interface Theory. Our digital event will introduce the basics of interface theory tomorrow in a post by the Editor of the Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, Gregory Hickok. This will be followed by three original—that is, not previously published—scholarly comments by Gary LupyanJohn Hummel, and Scott Jordan. We will conclude the week with an original reply to those new comments by Don Hoffman.

Get ready for an exciting week and please contribute to the discussion in the comment stream below each post.

If you are on Twitter please tweet with the hashtag #interfacetheory to broaden the audience for our digital event.

And for a preview of interface theory, some informative weekend watching can be found on TeD:

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