Can a physical object be two-dimensional

Functional principles of object and face recognition1

Cognitive Neuroscience pp 129-137 | Cite as

  • Heinrich H. Bülthoff
  • Isabelle Bülthoff
  • 1Citations
Part of the Springer textbook book series (SLB)


It is often not easy to explain to a layperson why recognizing objects is a non-trivial problem, since we seem to solve it so easily by simply looking at the objects. But suppose we were born blind and learned to distinguish between a cube and a sphere through our sense of touch. Then after an operation in which we would have regained sight, could we tell which is the cube and which is the sphere by simply looking and without touching? This thought experiment, which has preoccupied philosophers such as Locke and Molyneux, makes it clear that seeing and recognizing are not easy problems.

The 1st and 2nd edition of the article was written by Heinrich H. Bülthoff and Alexa I. Ruppertsberg.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heinrich H. Bülthoff
  • Isabelle Bülthoff
  1. 1. Department of Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen