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Plenary Talk :

From signal carriers to perception: peripheral constraints of reality representation

The talk will have two main topics: 1) how energy carriers, receptive mosaic properties and imaging rules determine the information extracted by different sensory systems and 2) how species-specific repertoire of senses determines the perceptual world of an individual.

There are two main links between perceptual processes and external reality: the externally driven changes in patterns of energy stimulating different sensory mosaics and the effects of the sensory agent’s actions on such pattern.

In the first subtopic, following a line traced by the analysis of the electrosensory system of fish, I will first develop a comparative view on what and how spatial and temporal constraints are imposed by the type of energy of the sensory carrier on the images that sensory mosaics receive. This will be followed by the analysis of how receptive mosaics choose just a few dimensions of the image to represent image patterns and how dimension reduction leads to representation of qualia. Solutions for signal transduction and encoding will be revisited and grouped in few general classes observed in nature, some of them exemplified by electroreceptive agents. Third I will focus on perceptually oriented actions and classify them in three main groups according to their perceptual consequences: those changing the point of view, those providing and controlling the sensory carrier and those acting on peripheral and central sensory structures.

In the second and more general subtopic, I will develop the role of the brain as a predicting device. The importance of brain organization and the body plan on such predicting role will be stressed to achieve the conclusion that each species, and on the fine details each individual has its own way of representing reality and its own behavioral profile.




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