Unveiling the Cognitive Mechanisms of Eyes: The Visual Sensor Vs. the Perceptive Browser of the Brain

Unveiling the Cognitive Mechanisms of Eyes: The Visual Sensor Vs. the Perceptive Browser of the Brain

Yingxu Wang (International Institute of Cognitive Informatics and Cognitive Computing (ICIC),Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/ijcini.2014010103
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Abstract

Eyes as the unique organ possess intensively direct connections to the brain and dynamically perceptual accessibility to the mind. This paper analyzes the cognitive mechanisms of eyes not only as the sensory of vision, but also the browser of internal memory in thinking and perception. The browse function of eyes is created by abstract conditioning of the eye's tracking pathway for accessing internal memories, which enables eye movements to function as the driver of the perceptive thinking engine of the brain. The dual mechanisms of the eyes as both the external sensor of the brain and the internal browser of the mind are explained based on evidences and cognitive experiences in cognitive informatics, neuropsychology, cognitive science, and brain science. The finding on the experiment's internal browsing mechanism of eyes reveals a crucial role of eyes interacting with the brain for accessing internal memory and the cognitive knowledge base in thinking, perception, attention, consciousness, learning, memorization, and inference.
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1. Introduction

Eyes are commonly recognized as the window of the mind and eye movement is the primary sign of life in neuropsychology and cognitive science, because over 70% of the sensory information to the brain is captured by the vision receptors of eyes (Marieb, 1992; Smith, 1993; Sternberg, 1998; Reisberg, 2001; Carter et al., 2009; Wang, 2003b, 2005, 2009c, 2009d, 2012b, 2013; Wang et al., 2006). Among the five primary sensors such as vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, eyes transfer the largest portion of sensory information greater than the sum of others. Eyes are featured as the only sensory that possesses both direct connections to the central nervous system of the brain via three neural pathways known as the sensory, motor, and tracking pathways. The other sensors have only part of them or are not directly connected to the central nervous system rather than being relayed by the pons before entering the brain (Marieb, 1992; Coren et al., 1993; Woolsey et al., 2008; Wang, 2003b, 2012b, 2013).

The visual information captured by eyes is represented in symbolic or semantic forms in the brain after being processed (Hubel & Wiesel, 1979; Pinel, 1997; Sternberg, 1998; Wang, 2009c). Hubel and his colleagues discovered in 1959 that the basic unit of vision is a bar-like area known as hypercolumns (Hubel & Wiesel, 1959, 1979) where an image frame is represented by a set of 50 × 50 hypercolumns. The size of a visual frame has been calibrated as about 2,363 pixels according to the property of the invariant resolution hat is inversely proportional to the distance of visual objects (Wang, 2009e), although there are about 125 million visual sensory nervous in the eye (Marieb, 1992; Carter et al., 2009).

There are a number of fundamental questions yet to be answered in order to rationally explain the brain identified in cognitive informatics (Wang, 2002, 2003a, 2006, 2007a, 2012a, 2012d, 2014; Wang & Fariello, 2012; Wang et al., 2009a, 2009b) and abstract intelligence (2008, 2009a, 2010a) such as follows:

  • How does the brain physiologically carry out thinking and perception?

  • How are thinking and perception controlled and directed in the mind?

  • Are all thinking mechanisms consciously or intentionally controllable?

  • What is the role of eye movement for browsing and accessing the internal cognitive knowledge base in thinking?

The cognitive mechanisms of eyes beyond its conventionally recognized roles as for vision sensory are a key for seeking answers to the above list of fundamental questions about the brain and the mind, because almost all answers to them pinpoint to the eyes as both the visual sensor and the perceptual browser of the mind as the 6th sense of human brain.

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