Chapter 2 Assignment

I’m studying for my Psychology class and need an explanation.

Veronica and Gabriel decide to visit the abstract art museum in their city. They pass several interesting artworks, but both pause at a particularly colorful painting (seen on the left). The image is filled with bright vibrant colors. The features of the painting include lots of vertical brushstrokes, paint texture, and splotches of color everywhere, especially towards the middle of the art piece.

After both examine the art for a bit, Gabriel decides he does not like it because he believes it looks lazy. He thinks to himself that “it is just a bunch of splashes of paint on a canvas; it does not look like anything. I could have painted this!”

However, Veronica is quite impressed by piece. She happens to have lots of boating experience from often going sailing with her family. She immediately realizes that the patterns of splotches and brushstrokes on the painting look like a bunch of sailboats docked at port.

Task: Use the concepts and terminology from Chapter 2’s sections on Object Recognition to answer the following questions.

  1. Describe the processes that is taking place between them looking at the painting and then perceiving the features (i.e., colors, lines, and shapes). Your explanation must include the following terms from the chapter: primary visual cortex, retina, proximal stimulus, perception, and distal stimulus. (5 pts)
    • Note: I am not asking about their interpretation or experience of the painting in this question. I want to know the process from painting to mental representation of the painting.
  1. Veronica and Gabriel have two very different experiences of the painting. How can you explain why their two perceptual experiences of the artwork are so different? What is cognitively different about how each person is analyzes the image? (5 pts)

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