Chapter

A Paradox

Michael McCloskey

in Visual Reflections

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780195168693
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199871513 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195168693.003.0008

Series: Oxford Psychology Series

 							A Paradox

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The results discussed in the preceding chapters lead to a paradox: On the one hand, data from a broad range of laboratory tasks implied that AH was severely impaired in perceiving the location and orientation of visual stimuli; yet, on the other hand, she was apparently leading a normal life, doing well in school and living independently with no special accommodations. This chapter attempts to resolve this paradox. In doing so, it develops three key points: First, AH is intact in extracting location and orientation information from certain forms of stimuli (e.g., moving visual stimuli), allowing her to succeed in many everyday tasks. Second, AH's performance in daily life is not, in fact, normal: Her self-reports and the results from laboratory tasks indicate that she encounters difficulty in a variety of circumstances. Third, compensatory processes help to reduce the impact of the deficit. These points, supported by AH's self-reports and data from several tasks, indicate that AH's performance in daily life can be reconciled with the laboratory evidence of a serious perceptual deficit.

Keywords: visual perception; visual location; orientation perception; perceptual deficits; visual stimuli

Chapter.  7681 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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