‘Perception from Sense to Object’ by John Wilding

One of the main arguments in my dissertation was that by repeating a static body template that does not meet opposition, this template will form a pattern with identical bodies. By not having any variations to the ‘ideal beauty shape’, those who does not identify with ‘the only’ beautiful body might form a bad body image of themselves. John Wilding’s book summaries a range of studies on pattern recognition and the establishment of a prototype, and was of great help for my research. I am a person of statistics. Funny enough, I nearly failed Mathematical Probabilities. -What are the chances? (Dry-joke of the day: check!). As my sister would say: back to the historie.

Posner (1973) distinguished groupings of objects which depend on deriving a prototype from a varied selection and groupings which depend on a precise rule. He defines the prototype as a mean of all the variations experienced by a person. In his studies, he presented a series of dot patterns, where each pattern was distorted with a common distortion rule from a separate prototype. Hs test subjects were presented with the distorted patterns, but the prototypes were kept secret. The test subjects had to learn names for the different groupings, and when presented with the underlying prototypes, some insisted they had seen them before (p. 81).

Reed (1972) used pictures of faces which varied in facial attributes. Subjects were shown two sets of five faces each, with neither set being able to be defined in simple terms (i.e. all with long noses, fringes, big eyes, etc…). He asked the subjects to assign new faces to the correct set. He found that the best possible explanation for the subjects’ behaviour was that they constructed a prototype for each set, and drew similarities from this to identify or categorize the new faces (p. 82).

Automatic processing (…) seems to occur with well-learned identifications and to depend on direct access to information in long term memory (Wilding, 1983, p. 87).

Posner argued that iconic concepts are of a less developed kind than rule-based ones are. This could mean either that the degree ad precision of feature analysis increases with age and experience, so that a global unanalyzed representation develops into a listing of features, or that the definition develops from a prototype to a precise rule (p. 88).

Wilding summarized attention theories into two main senses: selective attention, where mechanisms (whether conscious or not) take in some information and refuse other, and; capacity, statin the concept of incoming information can only be taken in to a certain limit. Processing many objects simultaneously usually involves processing the same features of all objects, i.e. colour, shape and such, in several spatial positions. Also, he claimed that it was hardest to report a different feature for each of three different objects (pp.102-117).

Penfield (1975) found that stimulation in the sensory areas produces unorganized sensations, i.e.: stimulation of the visual cortex in the back of the brain (visual sensory area) produces experiences of form, movement, brightness and familiar objects. When the point of stimulation was moved forward owards the temporal lobe, whole and meaningful experiences of scenes with all types of sensory components would suddenly be evoked (pp. 134-136).


Own collage. Image source. Samples of Disney silhouettes.

Own collage. Image source. Accessed on [03/02/2015]. Samples of Disney silhouettes.

-And now, for our funny finish:

Image source. Three or four?

Image source. Accessed on [03/02/2015]. Three or four?

Image source.

Image source. Accessed on [03/02/2015].