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Reading Perception-Perceiving Literature: an Interdisciplinary Approach

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84036

Lampert,  A
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84115

Nusseck,  M
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons83839

Bülthoff,  HH
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Lampert, A., Nusseck, M., Wertheimer, J., & Bülthoff, H. (2007). Reading Perception-Perceiving Literature: an Interdisciplinary Approach. Poster presented at 10th Tübinger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK 2007), Tübingen, Germany.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-CD0D-1
Abstract
We want to present the results of an interdisciplinary project between the Departement of International and Comparative Literature T¨ubingen and the Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics T¨ubingen in which we addressed the following questions: How is the topic ‘perception’ researched by the different diciplines, do they deal with the same phenomenon and forms of representations of perception or is there no or only a small intersection of the objects of investigations and can one method profit from or influence the other? Particulary it will be discussed a) how the issue of ambivalence/polyvalence and its (literary) perception is treated in both fields and b) if there are any possibilities to find out by psychophysical experiments how perception works in the reading process so one can reconstruct impartially intersubjective validated mental images produced by reading literay texts. It will be claimed that both in literature and cognitive science one is confrontated with subjective forms and ways of perception. Both disciplines describe how signals from the outside world are interpreted and constructed to a (readable) world (Heinz von Foerster). Where cognitive science accents the research of the processes inside the brain and how it forms by inherent structures in combination with given sense-data its ‘reality’, literature can focus on the act on how personal conceptions, ideas and associations are transformed in words and texts and how these verbal representations of perceptions interact, correspond or confront with the society and its historical and/or cultural different forms and norms of perception. So we think that perception is always also a social phenomenon as it is communicated and evaluated by language and other signs and signals and language can also—for good or bad—replace one’s own perceptions. Both the brain and literature are so to say filter-tools that form and construct ‘as-if-realities’, but, following Bachtin and its concept of dialogical literature, literary texts boost ambiguities and polysemies where in contrast the biological perception-apparatus is inclined to establish a monological and unambigous reality. These claims will be undermined by the presentation of the results of psychophysical experiments in which we analyzed possible correspondences between individual receptions of a literary text.