Re: Reading Images

Jessie Strader (jes22@COLUMBIA.EDU)
Fri, 5 Jan 1996 10:01:17 -0500

Selma (my one, computer-hunting cat), does show interest in other
screen bobs as well -- so you might be right about "flat blinky bugs."
But, with regard to the TV, none of my cats show any interest in the
screen at all unless the program includes birds (or other small, huntable
critters). I think this has something to do with overall pattern
recognition--the same way the paper sillouette of a hawk pasted on a bay
window will keep sparrows from flying into the glass, or a plastic "owl"
will shoo mice from the garden. Whether the food or foe is "real" doesn't
matter, only the response triggered by the recognition matters.

Which brings me back to the question in my other posting--is there a
correlation between a culture's prior use of pictorial representation and
an individual's ability to decode a photograph, or is the ability to
decode a function of the ability to recognize patterns in general? If my
cat can recognize a bird (or something like it) regardless of the number
of dimensions employed, shouldn't humans be equally capable?

On Thu, 4 Jan 1996, Elizabeth Vance wrote:

> Oh, I don't know. My cat chases the cursor on my screen. It's probably
> simply the movement it makes. We can recognize that the cats are
> chasing something, but we can't presume they see the object the same way
> we do. For all I know, Vincent (my cat) may think my cursor is just a
> flat blinky bug.
> - Elizabeth
> >
> > Whoa, Bob! I don't know about your cats, but mine certainly know a bird
> > is a bird is a bird whether its on the windowsill or the television.
> > One of my cats even tries to hunt animated birds when displayed on a
> > hi-res computer. Can't say what dogs see though.
> >
> > Happy New Year!
> >
> > Jessie