“Hacking our own Perceptual Systems”

Is perception at odds with formal cognition (reasoning)?

Perceptual-to-formal development occurs, but “perception can be tailored” to do the “right thing” - formal reasoning possible via, not despite perception.

Algebra as example.

  • (Is Barsalou in here?)

(5 - 1) x (2 + 2) / (6 - 2) x (1 + 1)

Bias to balance in perception leads to impairment of formal reasoning - balanced says 2, formal correctness is 8.

Inconsistent spacing in simple arithmetic does the same thing.

  • is this demonstrative of perception of .. empty space? .. Probably not. One immediate lesson: add correct parentheses before performing operations.

  • or is it that we can't ignore perceptual information in reasoning?

We learn to do formal reasoning by “off-loading” onto perceptual processes- I.e., applying cognitive illusion- using perceptual systems these ways are efficient

Works the other way; people do the spacing themselves when writing out equations (normal spacing width: = > + > x)

! Executive resources are cognitively costly

Let's hack:

We can act in order to do the right thing by training our attention correctly (attend to the operators in the right order) - literally train our eyes (to foveate?)

Or train to identify the middle symbol (flanking)

Given training of “or” taking precedence over “and”, response time for picking out incongruent “or”'s goes down (unknown why)

Influence of motion of background on solving for x runs counter to training- exacerbated in mathematicians (showing perceptual off-loading is a good strategy)

  • I really want that app

(1984, plyshyn) cognitive impenetrability criterion (cf. macpherson 2012)

Perception of math notation appears to be penetrated by cognition (as demonstrated)

“System is an inaccessible module and cannot be changed” not tempting for motor skills, shouldn't be for perception (viewing then perception as analogically like a muscle which requires training to use - flaring the nose, or tongue tricks)

Two strategies -strategic, or blind flailing

C: perceptual processes and their objects can be adapted to fit for al requirements