Natural Selection and Shape Perception [chapter]

Manish Singh, Donald D. Hoffman
2013 Shape Perception in Human and Computer Vision  
Our perception of shape is, like all of our perceptions, a product of evolution by natural selection. This entails that our perception of shape is a satisficing solution to certain problems faced by our ancestors, e.g., the need to stalk prey, secure mates, elude predators, and predict outcomes of actions. Natural selection produces satisficing solutions, rather than optimizing solutions, because selection favors survival of the fitter, not of the fittest: A gene need confer only a slight edge
more » ... ver the competition-a standard far lower than optimality-to proliferate in later generations. It is standard in vision research to assume that more accurate perceptions are fitter perceptions, and that therefore natural selection tunes our perceptions to be veridical, i.e., to be accurate reflections of the objective world. For instance, Palmer argues that "Evolutionarily speaking, visual perception is useful only if it is reasonably accurate . . . This is almost always the case with vision" [28] . Geisler and Diehl argue that "In general, (perceptual) estimates that are nearer the truth have greater utility than those that are wide of the mark" [11] . If perception is indeed veridical, then the world of our visual experience shares the attributes of the objective world. Our visual world has three spatial dimensions, a temporal dimension, and contains 3D objects with shapes, colors, textures and motions. Vision researchers standardly assume that the objective world does also. In other words, they standardly assume that the language of our visual representations is the correct language for describing objective reality.
doi:10.1007/978-1-4471-5195-1_12 fatcat:4zmaesr36nehhe73tljw4swdyu