GRE Reading Comprehension

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Source: NO5

Visual recognition involves storing and retrieving memories. Neural activity, triggered by the eye, forms an image in the brain's memory system that constitutes an internal representation of the viewed object. When an object is encountered again, it is matched with its internal representation and thereby recognized. Controversy surrounds the question of whether recognition is a parallel, one-step process or a serial, step-by-step one. Psychologists of the Gestalt school maintain that objects are recognized as wholes in a parallel procedure: the internal representation is matched with the retinal image in a single operation. Other psychologists have proposed that internal representation features are matched serially with an object's features. Although some experiments show that, as an object becomes familiar, its internal representation becomes more holistic and the recognition process correspondingly more parallel, the weight of evidence seems to support the serial hypothesis, at least for objects that are not notably simple and familiar.

Question List: 1 2 3 4

The author is primarily concerned with

  • A explaining how the brain receives images
  • B synthesizing hypotheses of visual recognition
  • C examining the evidence supporting the serial-recognition hypothesis
  • D discussing visual recognition and some hypotheses proposed to explain it
  • E reporting on recent experiments dealing with memory systems and their relationship to neural activity

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