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Prosopagnosia and situations

December 19, 2011 Leave a comment

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/336982/title/Face_deficit_holds_object_lesson
***seems to imply that they can no longer ‘situate’ the features – thus a loss of the relevant aspects of sys2 associated with visual information processing for these types of ‘blobs’ ***
Face deficit holds object lesson
Recognizing mugs may not be special in the brain
By Bruce Bower
Web edition : Friday, December 16th, 2011

Enlarge
OBJECTS OF CONFUSION
Objects of Confusion A brain-damaged man who can’t recognize faces also fared poorly at learning to distinguish computer-generated “Greebles” (such as these) from one another. Each Greeble displays a distinctive configuration of three appendage types.C. Bukach
A brain-damaged man who can’t remember faces has nosed into a scientific debate about how people learn to recognize other complex objects. Deaf users of sign language also have a hand in this dispute.

The brain-damaged man’s facial failures are one symptom of a general inability to perceive configurations of object parts, suggests a new investigation led by psychologist Cindy Bukach of the University of Richmond in Virginia. The man thus stumbles at identifying not only people’s faces but also computer-generated, three-part objects called Greebles, even after extensive training, Bukach’s team reports online December 8 in Neuropsychologia.

Bukach and her colleagues studied LR, a man who fails to recognize his daughter when shown a picture of her but remembers distinctive facial features, such as Elvis’ sideburns. Damage in a car accident to a brain area just under the right temple caused this condition, called prosopagnosia.

“There are many ways in which face recognition can be disrupted, but our evidence shows that LR’s type of prosopagnosia impairs recognition of objects with multiple parts, with faces as the most obvious example,” Bukach says. Relative positions of the eyes, nose and mouth, as well their shapes, contribute to perceiving a face as a single entity.

In a 2006 report, her team designed a collection of eight faces using different combinations of two sets of eyes, noses and mouths. After briefly viewing a face, LR correctly selected it from all eight faces 25 percent of the time — about what would be expected if he based choices on a single facial feature, Bukach says. Further testing showed that LR homed in on the mouth.

In the new study, the researchers designed eight Greebles, using different combinations of two versions of three distinctive appendages. LR recognized Greebles he had just seen 31 percent of the time, improving little after several one-hour, weekly training sessions. Four healthy volunteers struggled at discerning Greebles at first but recognized most of them after training.

Bukach opposes an influential view that the brain evolved systems for dealing with key types of knowledge, including face recognition (SN: 7/7/01, p. 10). A proponent of that view, psychologist Bradley Duchaine of Dartmouth College, previously reported that a prosopagnosia patient named Edward — who cited lifelong problems recognizing faces — learned to discriminate Greebles but not human faces.

If face recognition depends on a general capacity for learning to recognize multi-part objects, Duchaine holds, healthy volunteers should recognize novel Greebles as poorly as prosopagnosia patients do at first but perform better than patients after seeing lots of Greebles. LR’s Greeble difficulties exceeded those of healthy volunteers from the start, a sign of fundamental object-recognition problems that make the results hard to interpret, Duchaine contends. “These new results don’t help us understand mechanisms used for face processing,” he says.

LR’s poor Greeble-detection accuracy before and after training indicates that he focused on only one Greeble appendage when trying to tell the funny-looking objects apart, Bukach responds.

Support for the idea that brains use a general mechanism to recognize complex objects comes from deaf people who communicate with American Sign Language. Just as upside-down faces look weird and often unrecognizable to healthy volunteers, so do upside-down signs shown to fluent ASL users, say psychologists David Corina of the University of California, Davis, and Michael Grosvald of the University of California, Irvine.

Because healthy individuals perceive faces as whole entities, topsy-turvy faces look bizarre, Corina says. Likewise, ASL users learn to see signs as integrated sets of movements that look peculiar when inverted, the researchers propose in a paper published online December 6 in Cognition.

Many researchers assume that people understand sign language by breaking each sign down into hand shapes, arm movements and other elements.

Corina and Grosvald also find that deaf ASL users are faster than hearing nonsigners at recognizing videos of head scratching and other common grooming actions. Sign languages exploit brain areas devoted to detecting human actions in general, they propose.

Psycholinguist Karen Emmorey of San Diego State University calls new evidence that fluent signers perceive signs as whole entities “a key insight.” Further work needs to confirm that learning a sign language modifies action-related brain areas, she adds

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Brown Bag Info from Dr. Flach

December 19, 2011 Leave a comment

For those interested…

Inaugural Cognitive Brown Bag Lunch Gathering

When: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 11:30 AM-1:00 PM (UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada).

Where: TecEdge, 500 Springfield Street, Suite 100, Dayton, Ohio 45431

Note: The GMT offset above does not reflect daylight saving time adjustments.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

You are cordially invited to attend the inaugural gathering of the new RH Cognitive Modeling Brown Bag lunch series.

Date: Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Time: 1130-1300

Location: TecEdge, 500 Springfield Street, Suite 100, Dayton, Ohio 45431

As Kevin Gluck described in an earlier email, the purpose of this Brown Bag series is to foster a strong community and an atmosphere of collaboration in support of the growing research in cognitive modeling. To that end, the topic for this first gathering will be, primarily, a meet-and-great between people across the Human Effectiveness Directorate as well as some researchers outside of RH who pursue related research. Kevin Gluck (RHAC) will help provide us with an overview of some goals of the cognitive modeling expansion effort, and we’ll discuss the goals and future plans for the Brown Bag series itself.

Please do plan to bring your own lunch. TecEdge has drinks available (soda, water, coffee, tea) for 50 cents an item. Also, please bring any ideas or wants for future Brown Bag gatherings; your input will help us make these gatherings as effective as possible for our research community.

This gathering is open to any AFRL researchers with an interest in cognitive modeling, so if you know anyone who might be interested in attending, please feel free to forward this invitation along.

Please note, if you are not interested in being invited to future Brown Bag gatherings, please let me know and I will remove your name from the distribution list.

If you have any questions,

I look forward to meeting you all and kicking off a lively Cognitive Modeling Brown Bag series.

Cheers,

Leslie

Leslie M. Blaha, Ph.D

Engingeering Research Psychologist

711 HPW/RHCV

937-255-0425 Office

785-0425 DSN

Leslie.Blaha@wpafb.af.mil

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Weekly QUEST Discussion Topics Dec 16

December 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Quest Topics and News Dec 16
Below are the topics that consumed my bandwidth this week – heads up – due to family days the next two Fridays QUEST meetings will not be held – we will still post weekly information and welcome virtual interactions –
1.) Topic one this time of year is still to pull together our overview quest talk – I would like to start with a brainstorming session on the implication of the recent discussions on ‘situated conceptualization’ to our overview – so I will provide a quick review and then request some ideas on how to capture that in the overview presentations – the idea that the sys2 representation embodies – ‘situated conceptualization’ and includes the idea of a ‘pattern completion inference mechanism’. The article I’m using is ‘Simulation, situated conceptualization, and prediction’, from our QUEST colleague Lawrence W. Barsalou* Department of Psychology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B (2009) 364, 1281–1289 doi:10.1098/rstb.2008.03. One main point of departure from the publication is our position that the ‘simulation’ is not just for when the stimuli is not present but is the mechanism for generating the illusory cartesean theater for perception (also for imagination and recollection).
2.) Topic two was suggested by Prof Raines – the Darpa active authentication effort, this is related to the interest of Dr. Brown who joined us last week, we will review the darpa slides and brainstorm how QUEST might impact the effort – specifically I want to reboot our prior ideas of ‘quali-metrics’.
3.) Topic three if we can get to it is a philosophical discussion on the Extended Mind – where does the mind stop – if I use parts of the environment to aide my cognitive processes does that extend – do they become part of the process – this discussion is relevant as we posit integrated human/computer solutions in QUEST. We have a link to the paper ‘The Extended Mind’ by Clark and Chalmers. This is part of a discussion I would like to tee up as another think piece – ‘drowning in data’ is an incorrect formulation of what we are facing. We are only drowning in data now because we have a view of cognition only in the skulls of the humans making the decisions.

Youtube link from Mike McClure

December 10, 2011 Leave a comment
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QUEST Discussion Topics and News, Dec 9

December 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Quest Topics Dec 9
Below are the topics that consumed my bandwidth this week – a couple of really interesting news stories again people might want to talk about (Story #1: Cognitive illusions are the main theme of a book review in the NY Times. A cognitive illusion is a false belief that we intuitively accept as true. The illusion of validity is a false belief in the reliability of our own judgment…Story #2:a newly revealed security research project called PRODIGAL — the Proactive Discovery of Insider Threats Using Graph Analysis and Learning — which has been built to scan IMs, texts and emails . . . and can read approximately a quarter billion of them a day– PRODIGAL scans those records for behavior — emails to unusual recipients, certain words cropping up, files transferred from unexpected servers — that changes over time as an employee “goes rogue.”)
1.) Topic one this time of year is still to pull together our overview quest talk – we had a spirited discussion last week and I would like to continue that. So we will start with the current outline of the overview talk and work our way down to some of the details people think should be included.
2.) Topic two is tied to topic one – the idea that the sys2 representation embodies – ‘situated conceptualization’ and includes the idea of a ‘pattern completion inference mechanism’. The article I’m using is ‘Simulation, situated conceptualization, and prediction’, Lawrence W. Barsalou* Department of Psychology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B (2009) 364, 1281–1289 doi:10.1098/rstb.2008.03. Along these lines I also was investigating the Stanford SCAPE system that does completion inferencing for point cloud information for body types and activities even for types not in the data base. This stimulated a great interaction with our RH Colleagues on pattern completion and inferencing. One main point of departure from the publication is our position that the ‘simulation’ is not just for when the stimuli is not present but is the mechanism for generating the illusory cartesean theater for perception (also for imagination and recollection).

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QUEST Discussion Topics Dec 2

December 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Below are the topics that consumed my bandwidth this week – a couple of really interesting news stories people might want to talk about (one on memory that corroborates our position on confabulation and one on Weber-Fichner law and shows that the relationship between the stimulus and perception is logarithmic. *** what Brian has been trying to explain to us on the relationship between sys1 and sys2 – if we assume that sys1 is in the stimulus space and sys2 is the perception space representation ***):
1.) Topic one this time of year is to pull together our overview. Traditionally the first meeting in Jan I provide an overview of QUEST talk. So among the topics I want to provide the opportunity for people to chime in on aspects of QUEST we need to emphasize when provided the opportunity to talk to new audiences.
2.) Topic two – ‘situated conceptualization’ to include the idea of a ‘pattern completion inference mechanism’. The article I’m using is ‘Simulation, situated conceptualization, and prediction’, Lawrence W. Barsalou* Department of Psychology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B (2009) 364, 1281–1289doi:10.1098/rstb.2008.03. Along these lines I also was investigating the Stanford SCAPE system that does completion inferencing for point cloud information for body types and activities even for types not in the data base. This stimulated a great interaction with our RH Colleagues on pattern completion and inferencing. One main point of departure from the publication is our position that the ‘simulation’ is not just for when the stimuli is not present but is the mechanism for generating the illusory cartesean theater for perception (also for imagination and recollection).
Quest Topics Dec 2

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