Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Perceptual distortions and deceptions: what computers can teach us

  • Matthew M. Nour (a1) (a2) and Joseph M. Nour (a3)
Summary

The nature of perception has fascinated philosophers for centuries, and has more recently been the focus of research in psychology and neuroscience. Many psychiatric disorders are characterised by perceptual abnormalities, ranging from sensory distortions to illusions and hallucinations. The distinction between normal and abnormal perception is, however, hard to articulate. In this article we argue that the distinction between normal perception and abnormal perception is best seen as a quantitative one, resting on the degree to which the observer's prior expectations influence perceptual inference. We illustrate this point with an example taken from researchers at Google working on computer vision.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Perceptual distortions and deceptions: what computers can teach us
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Perceptual distortions and deceptions: what computers can teach us
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Perceptual distortions and deceptions: what computers can teach us
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
This is an open-access article published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Correspondence to Matthew M. Nour (matthew.nour@kcl.ac.uk)
Footnotes
Hide All

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
Hide All
1 Casey, P, Kelly, B. Fish's Clinical Psychopathology: Signs and Symptoms in Psychiatry (3rd edn). RCPsych Publications, 2007.
2 Berkeley, G. A New Theory of Vision, 1709. Everyman's Library, 1976.
3 Churchland, PS, Churchland, PM. Neural worlds and real worlds. Nat Rev Neurosci 2002; 3: 903–7.
4 Purves, D, Monson, BB, Sundararajan, J, Wojtach, WT. How biological vision succeeds in the physical world. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2014; 111: 4750–5.
5 Gregory, RL. Eye and Brain: The Psychology of Seeing (5th edn). Princeton University Press, 1997: p. 277.
6 Kersten, D, Mamassian, P, Yuille, A. Object perception as Bayesian inference. Annu Rev Psychol 2004; 55: 271304.
7 Summerfield, C, de Lange, FP. Expectation in perceptual decision making: neural and computational mechanisms. Nat Rev Neurosci 2014; 15: 745–56.
8 Buzsáki, G. Rhythms of the Brain. Oxford University Press, 2006.
9 Friston, K. A theory of cortical responses. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2005; 360: 815–36.
10 Clark, A. Whatever next? Predictive brains, situated agents, and the future of cognitive science. Behav Brain Sci 2013; 36: 181204.
11 Mordvintsev, A, Olah, C, Tyka, M. Inceptionism: Going Deeper into Neural Networks. Google Research Blog, 2015. Available from: http://googleresearch.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/inceptionism-going-deeper-into-neural.html (accessed 19 July 2015).
12 Jaspers, K. General Psychopathology (transl. Hoenig, J, Hamilton, MW). The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997.
13 Barrett, LF, Bar, M. See it with feeling: affective predictions during object perception. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2009; 364: 1325–34.
14 Oyebode, F. Sims' Symptoms in the Mind: An Introduction to Descriptive Psychopathology (4th edn). Elsevier Ltd, 2008.
15 Semple, D, Smyth, R. Oxford Handbook of Psychiatry (2nd edn). Oxford University Press, 2009.
16 Friston, K. Learning and inference in the brain. Neural Netw 2003; 16: 1325–52.
17 Friston, K. The free-energy principle: a unified brain theory? Nat Rev Neurosci 2010; 11: 127–38.
18 Jardri, R, Denève, S. Circular inferences in schizophrenia. Brain 2013; 136: 3227–41.
19 Collerton, D, Perry, E, McKeith, I. Why people see things that are not there: a novel perception and attention deficit model for recurrent complex visual hallucinations. Behav Brain Sci 2005; 28: 737–57.
20 Nour, MM, Nour, JM. Perception, illusions and Bayesian inference. Psychopathology 2015; 48: 217–21.
21 Felleman, DJ, Van Essen, DC. Distributed hierarchical processing in the primate cerebral cortex. Cereb Cortex 1991; 1: 147.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 2056-4694
  • EISSN: 2056-4708
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 18 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 53 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 2nd January 2018 - 23rd June 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Perceptual distortions and deceptions: what computers can teach us

  • Matthew M. Nour (a1) (a2) and Joseph M. Nour (a3)
Submit a response

eLetters

No eLetters have been published for this article.

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *