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2010 Technical Reports

Re-Visiting Visual Routines: A White Paper

John K. Tsotsos

Technical Report CSE-2010-11

York University

October 1 2010


This White Paper lays out a set of new research objectives and the skeleton of a plan on how to achieve these. The objectives were motivated by the desire to take the successful Selective Tuning model of visual attention (ST) and move it to the next stage of its natural development. A key missing element of ST is that of a executive controller, a component that uses the attentional processes that Selective Tuning provides in solving real problems associated with visual perception, visual cognition and reasoning, including the use of vision for the guidance of action. To this end, the conceptualization of Ullman's Visual Routines seems to provide the best starting point. This extremely brief White Paper presents a proposal for how Ullman's work may be re-examined in the light of an up-to-date understanding of visual attention and visual processing more generally. Conceptually, Ullman's contribution was significant but he left most of the details unspecified. This proposal suggests ways to update Ullman's visual routines concept given modern views on vision and attention, and moves to subsequently revise, extend and flesh-out the ideas in order to provide the functionality required to develop an executive controller for ST.

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