Brain and the Gaze

On the Active Boundaries of Vision

How do we gain access to things as they are? Although we routinely take our self-made pictures to be veridical representations of reality, in actuality we choose (albeit unwittingly) or construct what we see. By movements of the eyes, the direction of our gaze, we create meaning. In Brain and the Gaze, Jan Lauwereyns offers a novel reformulation of perception and its neural underpinnings, focusing on the active nature of perception.

In his investigation of active perception and its brain mechanisms, Lauwereyns offers the gaze as the principal paradigm for perception. In a radically integrative account, grounded in neuroscience but drawing on insights from philosophy and psychology, he discusses the dynamic and constrained nature of perception; the complex information processing at the level of the retina; the active nature of vision; the intensive nature of representations; the gaze of others as visual stimulus; and the intentionality of vision and consciousness. An engaging point of entry to the cognitive neuroscience of perception, written for neuroscientists but illuminated by insights from thinkers ranging from William James to Slavoj Žižek, Brain and the Gaze will give new impetus to research and theory in the field.

Table of Contents

  1. Contents
  2. Prelude: Output for Input
  3. 1. Free Viewing
  4. 2. A Sensorimotor System
  5. 3. The Moving Retina
  6. 4. Seeing and Grasping
  7. 5. The Intensive Approach
  8. 6. The Gaze of Others
  9. 7. Seeing and Nothingness
  10. Coda: Esemplastic Power
  11. Bibliography
  12. Index