direct perception

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A theory of (mainly visual) perception, developed by the US psychologist James Jerome Gibson (1904–79) over a period of more than three decades, according to which the flux of light (called the ambient optic array) reaching the visual receptors (1) of a perceiving organism is richly structured; movements of the organism or of surrounding objects cause some aspects of the array to change while others remain constant, hence the array is composed of variants and invariants, and the invariants are sufficient to provide perception of aspects of the environment such as spatial arrangements and surfaces directly, that is, without recourse to inference or memory. See also affordance, air theory, Gibsonian, global psychophysics, motion perspective.

Subjects: Psychology.

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