Explain Gibson's bottom up/ direct theory of perception

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Gibson bottom up/ direct theory of perception

Gibson’s bottom up approach is also known as data-driven processing, because perception begins with the stimulus itself. Processing is carried out in one direction from the retina to the visual cortex, with each successive stage in the visual pathway carrying out ever more complex analysis of the input.

Gibson argues that there is enough information in our environment to make sense of the world in a direct way. There is no need for processing as the information we receive about size, shape and distance is sufficiently detailed for us to interact directly with the environment. In this theory he also talks about movement, as we we move through our environment, objects which are close to us pass us by faster than those further away.

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Evidence to support Gibson’s Theory comes from Eleanor Gibson who demonstrated how 6 month of infants would refuse to cross over an apparent cliff when their mothers called. This was also the same in day old chicks and goats too suggesting that depth perception was an innate process, supporting Gibson’s theory that perception was a direct and biological process.

However, a criticism is that the 6 month infants could have learnt perception in the early months which undermines supporting evidence.

Gibson's emphasis on direct perception provides an explanation for the fast and accurate perception of the environment. However, ...

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