New Perspectives on the Cognitive Penetrability of Perception

Country: Italy

City: Torino

Abstr. due: 09.09.2018

Dates: 10.12.18 — 11.12.18

Area Of Sciences: Philosophy;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: Center for Logic, Language and Cognition (LLC), Università degli Studi di Torino


Can wearing a heavy backpack make a hill look steeper? Does reflecting on negative words or actions make the world literally look darker? And does knowing the colour of a banana make it look more yellow? There is a long-standing debate on whether perception is affected by knowledge, beliefs, or language.

According to the traditional “modular” understanding of perception, the standard answer to such questions is no. Perceptual processing is encapsulated from higher-level cognition. However, an impressive body of theoretical and empirical work on perception seems to suggest that states such as beliefs, desires, emotions, motivations, intentions, and linguistic representations can exert a direct, top-down influence on the contents and character of perception. Many scholars have seen such effects as ubiquitous and defying a sharp distinction between perception and cognition.

As a result, researchers are increasingly investigating to what the extent perception should be understood as a "transparent window on reality”. Are top-down effects on perception real, or do they just reflect influences on judgment, memory, or response bias? Does cognitive penetrability constrain us to epistemological coherentism? Does cognitive impenetrability lead us back to the myth of sense-data? The purpose of this conference is to bring together researchers from philosophy, psychology and neuroscience to discuss these and related questions.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Cognitive Penetrability/Impenetrability/Penetration Lite

  • Conceptual or Non-conceptual content of perception

  • Cognitive penetration and perceptual learning

  • Relation between cognitive states with (all) sensory modalities

  • Cognitive penetration of lower-level or/and higher-level properties

  • Contextual and top-down influences on perceptual information processing

  • Effects of linguistic relativity on perception

  • Perception, emotion, and the arts

  • Bayesian approaches to cognitive penetration

Conference Web-Site:

Similar conferences with close deadlines: