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Last section of lectures on visual indexes (aka FINST theory). Summarizing FINST Theory. A FINST is a primitive reference mechanism that normally references individual visible objects in the world. There are a small number (~4-5) FINSTs available at any one time.
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NOTE: Not MoveGaze (x, y, z) which gives spatial coordinates of the gaze target
FINST Demonstrative reference linkFINSTs and Object Files are the basic mechanisms that link the world and its conceptualization
The only thing in this picturethat is conceptual is what’s in the Object Files (unless you count a reference as conceptual)
Object File contents are conceptual!
Distinguish properties that play a causal role in individuating and indexing objects from properties that are encoded and made available to cognition
Maybe the theoretically relevant information we take in is less than (or at least different from) what we experience
No: There is no a priori‘must explain’!
It is an illusion that we read properties off a mental image: Mental images do not have properties that can be seen!
Here is a formal specification of the MOT task:
An object Xn(t) is a target at time t if, and only if,
But there is another way to look at the task, based on the idea that we do not need to keep track of individual objects but only of sets of objects and we can then ‘flush’ the individual objects’ history.
Blaser, E., Pylyshyn, Z. W., & Holcombe, A. O. (2000). Tracking an object through feature-space. Nature, 408(Nov 9), 196-199.
The suggestion that nontargets are tracked raises a problem for FINST theory.
…suppose we prefer referential semantics (as indeed I do)… why should we single out visual indexes as referential devices, rather than as mere tools whose role is exhausted by their functional role?… it may be that all you mean by 'x refers to y' is: 'x is causally connected to y in a way helpful for finding out about and acting on y'.
This picture leaves many unanswered questions, but it does provide a mechanism for solving the binding problem and also explaining how mental representations could have a nonconceptual (non-attributive) connection with objects in the world (something required if mental representations are to connect with actions)