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perceptual cycle

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Neisser's model of perception as a cyclical process in which top-down processing and bottom-up processing drive each other in turn. To be purely data-driven we'd need to be mindless automatons; to be purely theory-driven we'd need to be disembodied dreamers. An active schema sets up relevant expectations for a particular context and if the sensory data flouts these expectations this may modify the schema or trigger a more relevant one. The basic principle is one of feedback. See also schema theory.

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