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Research Bernoulli Institute Calendar

Colloquium CognitiveModeling - Prof. Jeroen Smeets, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

When:Fr 05-04-2024 11:00 - 12:00
Where:5161.0162 Bernoulliborg

Title: Grasping the question


We behave in a world that follows the rules of physics and mathematics. It seems therefore self-evident that we perceive a world that is consistent with these rules. For instance, when trying to understand illusions, we tend to use explanations that are consistent, and use concepts like a deformation of visual space. I will review some examples of situations in which our percept is inconsistent: the answer depends on the precise formulation of the question one asks (i.e. the design of the experiment). I will discuss how our tendency to assume consistency leads to erroneous conclusion on how we process sensory information and use it to guide our actions. The way to avoid such errors starts by realising that to behave successfully, one does not need a consistent internal representation, but only answers to specific questions about the outside world. To understand how humans control their behaviour, one should therefore start with asking: 'what is the question?' I will apply this notion to the control of the reach-to-grasp movement.