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By Don Dedrick, Lana Trick

A set of state-of-the-art paintings on cognition and a party of a foundational determine within the box.

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James Intriligator’s dissertation (described in Intriligator and Cavanagh 2001) showed that even at separations where objects can be visually resolved, they may nonetheless fail to be individuated or attentionally resolved, preventing the individual objects from being picked out from among the others. Without such individuation one could not count objects or carry out a sequence of commands that requires shifting attention from one to another. Given a 2-D array of points lying closer than their threshold of attentional resolution, one could not successfully follow such instructions as “move up one, right one, right one, down one, .

My focus has been on visual objects—objects that are selected by the visual system without benefit of concepts and knowledge. Although I have mentioned psychophysical experiments, including multiple-object tracking, there are numerous findings in cognitive development that are relevant to our notion of object and index. For example, the notion of object has played an important role in the work by Leslie et al. (1998); Spelke, Gutheil, and Van de Walle (1995); and Xu and Carey (1996). These researchers have explicitly recognized the close relation between this notion of object and the one that is involved in our theory of FINST indexes.

But of course this leaves open the question of what the connection is between the primitive visual object so defined and the more usual notion of physical object, and in particular with the notion of object often appealed to in infant studies. In those studies, an object is defined by Elizabeth Spelke and others as a “bounded, coherent, threedimensional physical object that moves as a whole” (Spelke 1990). Are such “Spelke Objects” different from what we have been calling primitive visual objects?

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