Visiting in Academe
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Visiting in Academe book
W. settled happily at Cornell. I continued to find opportunities for re, search and the children grew and made friends. As James expanded his re, search program, his book Perception of the Visual World was published, and he published papers with some very new ideas. His reputation grew. He was invited to the University of California at Berkeley as visiting professor. We decided to spend one semester there (first term of 1954-55), although it meant changing the children's schools. A nice house on Grizzly Peak (won' derful name) was found for us, and Jerry enrolled for his first year of high school at the Berkeley High School, large and reputed to have a population of "toughs." I think we didn't quite realize just how traumatic this experience might be for him! I had no job and no opportunity for research, but there were interesting people (Edward Tolman and Egon Brunswik among oth, ers), I wrote things up, and we made good friends. The American Associa, tion for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) had scheduled its annual Christmas meeting there, so James and Leo Postman, a colleague at Berke, ley, planned a symposium on perceptual learning. The Gibsons were to present their theory (and myoid scribble experiment) on "Perceptual Learning as Differentiation" and Postman was to reply, espousing "Enrich, 70
Our paper (J. J. Gibson &- E. J. Gibson, 1955a) described the scribble ex, periment that I had run earlier, and maintained that perceptual earning was a narrowing down, an increase in correspondence of perceived properties with physical properties and objects in the environment, becoming in greater and greater correspondence with stimulation, not less, as an enrichment or an add,on theory would maintain. We learn to perceive more qualities or features of things, and they become more distinctive. Our experiment bore this out, as even the youngest participants learned to identify the target draw, ing, confusion decreased, and they soon were able to point out the dimen, sions in which the items differed.