Information in difference

Pickup & persistence

This is how we learn about our environment. The psychologist James J. Gibson described what he called the ambient optic array, a structured arrangement of light that provides visual information about the environment [1]. This departed from Shannon’s communication model. In human perception, according to Gibson, “The world does not speak to the observer. Words and pictures convey information, carry it, or transmit it, but the information in the sea of energy around each of us, luminous or mechanical or chemical energy, is not conveyed. It is simply there.”

Information in formations

Gibson describes the environment in which we live (indeed where any organism lives) as composed of a medium, substances and surfaces. Light, for example from the sun, travels through a medium (for us, air), and when it reaches a surface, is absorbed, reflected or scattered. This arrives at the human eye as a particular pattern.

  1. Gibson, J. J. (1979) The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. (Routledge)
  2. Gleick, J. (2011) The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood. (Pantheon)
  3. Weiner, N. (1954) The Human Use of Human Beings. (Da Capo)
  4. Yates, F. (1966) The Art of Memory. (Routledge)
  5. Shen Guohua, Dwivedi Kshitij, Majima Kei, Horikawa Tomoyasu and Kamitani Yukiyasu, “End-to-End Deep Image Reconstruction From Human Brain Activity,” Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience 13 (2019) DOI=10.3389/fncom.2019.00021
  6. Miller, P.D. (2004) Rhythm Science. (Mediawork/MIT Press)

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