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Psychology's Pavloski Publishes Theoretical Model of Visual Gestalt as a Large-Scale Neural Information State

Raymond Pavloski, professor and chair of Psychology, published an article entitled “Visual Experiences and their Neural Substrate as Parts of a Dynamic Whole” in Gestalt Theory, the peer-reviewed journal of the International Society for Gestalt Theory and its Applications.

Pavloski’s work aims to fill a gap in research on vision by providing a formal theoretical model of how the structure of a visual experience and underlying brain activity are related. Pavloski’s paper was selected for publication from contributions made at the international conference, One Hundred Years of Gestalt Psychology, held in Helsinki, Finland, on September 28–29, 2012.

Pavloski’s paper followed a keynote address delivered by Michael Wertheimer (son of the famous Gestalt psychologist Max Wertheimer) to the 48th congress of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Psychologie. In the introduction to his paper, the editor Fiorenza Toccafondi host wrote, “Raymond Pavloski considers phenomenal Gestalten as visual primitives essential for understanding neuronal activity. In the paper we publish herein he lays the foundations of a project to understand the relationship between visual phenomena and their neural substrate by using the category theory. Generally speaking, it can be satisfactorily seen that in the experimental project of Pavloski1 one of the leading ideas of the Gestalt tradition comes back to the fore: that is the value of the phenomenal level for investigating the neurophysiological level. In the following paper, the physiological dimension gives way to the physical one, but within a frame in which, again, perception psychology plays a key role—as, it is well known, is the case also in Köhler.”

1In this regard, see also R. Pavloski (2010), Searching for a neural isomorph of the perceptual gestalt: From cortical currents to hidden patterns in the dynamics of recurrent neural networks, Gestalt Theory (32), 115-154.

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