The two-visual-systems hypothesis and the perspectival features of visual experience Academic Article uri icon


  • Some critics of the two-visual-systems hypothesis (TVSH) argue that it is incompatible with the fundamentally egocentric nature of visual experience (what we call the 'perspectival account'). The TVSH proposes that the ventral stream, which delivers up our visual experience of the world, works in an allocentric frame of reference, whereas the dorsal stream, which mediates the visual control of action, uses egocentric frames of reference. Given that the TVSH is also committed to the claim that dorsal-stream processing does not contribute to the contents of visual experience, it has been argued that the TVSH cannot account for the egocentric features of our visual experience. This argument, however, rests on a misunderstanding about how the operations mediating action and the operations mediating perception are specified in the TVSH. In this article, we emphasize the importance of the 'outputs' of the two-systems to the specification of their respective operations. We argue that once this point is appreciated, it becomes evident that the TVSH is entirely compatible with a perspectival account of visual experience.

publication date

  • 2015