Probing the interface theory of perception: Reply to commentaries

Donald D. Hoffman, Manish Singh, Chetan Prakash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We propose that selection favors nonveridical perceptions that are tuned to fitness. Current textbooks assert, to the contrary, that perception is useful because, in the normal case, it is veridical. Intuition, both lay and expert, clearly sides with the textbooks. We thus expected that some commentators would reject our proposal and provide counterarguments that could stimulate a productive debate. We are pleased that several commentators did indeed rise to the occasion and have argued against our proposal. We are also pleased that several others found our proposal worth exploring and have offered ways to test it, develop it, and link it more deeply to the history of ideas in the science and philosophy of perception. To both groups of commentators: thank you. Point and counterpoint, backed by data and theory, is the essence of science. We hope that the exchange recorded here will advance the scientific understanding of perception and its evolution. In what follows, we respond to the commentaries in alphabetical order.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1551-1576
Number of pages26
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


  • Bayesian inference
  • Categorization
  • Parameter estimation
  • Perceptual categorization and identification
  • Visual perception


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