Features and Objects: BBS Call for Commentators

[From Oded Maler (970215)]

You might find the following interesting:

    Below is the abstract of a forthcoming BBS target article on:


        by Philippe G. Schyns, Robert L. Goldstone & Jean-Pierre Thibaut

This article has been accepted for publication in Behavioral and Brain
Sciences (BBS), an international, interdisciplinary journal providing
Open Peer Commentary on important and controversial current research in
the biobehavioral and cognitive sciences.

Commentators must be BBS Associates or nominated by a BBS Associate. To
be considered as a commentator for this article, to suggest other
appropriate commentators, or for information about how to become a BBS
Associate, please send EMAIL to:


      or write to:

    Behavioral and Brain Sciences
    Department of Psychology
    University of Southampton
    Highfield, Southampton


If you are not a BBS Associate, please send your CV and the name of a
BBS Associate (there are currently over 10,000 worldwide) who is
familiar with your work. All past BBS authors, referees and commentators
are eligible to become BBS Associates.

To help us put together a balanced list of commentators, please give
some indication of the aspects of the topic on which you would bring
your areas of expertise to bear if you were selected as a commentator.
An electronic draft of the full text is available for inspection
with a WWW browser, anonymous ftp or gopher according to the
instructions that follow after the abstract.




Philippe G. Schyns Robert L. Goldstone Jean-Pierre Thibaut
Psychology Dept. Psychology Dept. Psychology Dept.
Glasgow University Indiana University Universite de Liege
Glasgow G12 8QB UK Bloomington IN 47405 4000 Liege BELGIUM
philippe@psy.gla.ac.uk rgoldsto@ucs.indiana.edu jthibaut@vm1.ulg.ac.be

    KEYWORDS: Concept learning, conceptual development, perceptual
    learning, features, stimulus encoding

    ABSTRACT: According to an influential approach to cognition, our
    perceptual systems provide us with a repertoire of fixed features
    as input to higher-level cognitive processes. We present a theory
    of category learning and representation in which features, instead
    of being components of a fixed repertoire, are created under the
    influence of higher-level cognitive processes. When new categories
    need to be learned, fixed features face one of two problems: (1)
    High-level features that are directly useful for categorization may
    not be flexible enough to represent all relevant objects. (2)
    Low-level features consisting of unstructured fragments (such as
    pixels) may not capture the regularities required for successful
    categorization. We report evidence that feature creation occurs in
    category learning and we describe the conditions that promote it.
    Feature creation can adapt flexibly to changing environmental
    demands and may be the origin of fixed feature repertoires.
    Implications for object categorization, conceptual development,
    chunking, constructive induction and formal models of
    dimensionality reduction are discussed.

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To help you decide whether you would be an appropriate commentator for
this article, an electronic draft is retrievable from the World Wide
Web or by anonymous ftp or gopher from the US or UK BBS Archive.
Ftp instructions follow below. Please do not prepare a commentary on
this draft. Just let us know, after having inspected it, what relevant
expertise you feel you would bring to bear on what aspect of the

The URLs you can use to get to the BBS Archive:


To retrieve a file by ftp from an Internet site, type either:
ftp ftp.princeton.edu
   When you are asked for your login, type:
   Enter password as queried (your password is your actual userid:
   yourlogin@yourhost.whatever.whatever - be sure to include the "@")
cd /pub/harnad/BBS
   To show the available files, type:
   Next, retrieve the file you want with (for example):
get bbs.schyns
   When you have the file(s) you want, type: