These essays tackle some of the central issues in visual cognition, presenting experimental techniques from cognitive psychology, new ways of modeling cognitive processes on computers from artificial intelligence, and new ways of studying brain organization from neuropsychology, to address such questions as: How do we recognize objects in front of us? How do we reason about objects when they are absent and only in memory? How do we conceptualize the three dimensions of space? Do different people do these things in different ways? And where are these abilities located in the brain? While this research, which appeared as a special issue of the journal Cognition, is at the cutting edge of cognitive science, it does not assume a highly technical background on the part of readers. The book begins with a tutorial introduction by the editor, making it suitable for specialists and nonspecialists alike.
Steven Pinker is Harvard College Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. His books The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, and The Better Angels of Our Nature have won numerous prizes.