Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 855–877 | Cite as

Are perspectival shapes seen or imagined? An experimental approach

  • John SchwenklerEmail author
  • Assaf Weksler


This paper proposes a novel experimental approach that would help to determine whether perspectival shapes, such as the elliptical profile of a tilted plate or coin, are part of perceptual experience. If they are part of perceptual experience, then it should be possible to identify these shapes simply by attending appropriately to them. Otherwise, in order to identify perspectival shapes they must first be constructed in the visual imagination. We propose that these accounts of perspectival identification can be tested by measuring the interference between visual and verbal working memory load, respectively, and the identification of perspectival shapes in the appearance of a 3D object.


Vision Perception Perspective Imagination Attention Working memory 



We wish to thank Galia Avidan, Robert Briscoe, Zohar Bronfman, Randy Clarke, Paul Conway, Baruch Eitam, Jonathan Folstein, Nurit Gronau, Sean Kelly, Arnon Keren, Ariel Meirav, Lior Shmuelof, Mark Wagner, Aaron Wilbur, Wayne Wu, Yaffa Yeshurun, and two anonymous referees for helpful feedback and discussion.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Florida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.University of HaifaMount CarmelIsrael

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