This is the second posting of explaining the figure on human cognitive functions. Today's topic is object recognition.
2a Object Category Recognition
The line Object Category Recognition is rooted in Temporal Hierarchical Categorizer (THC) in the figure. This is a function of THC to recognize exterior objects. It is pattern recognition, but its realization would not be easy. To think of vision, an object would hardly enter into the visual field again with the previous conditions; an object would have various orientations, be under various lighting conditions and have focused images in various parts of the retina. As multi-layered neural networks such as deep learning networks are achieving some good results with object category recognition, one would say the brain works in a similar way. However, artificial learning mechanisms (including deep learning) normally require extensive tuning and it is not clear how is the brain tuned in learning yet.
2b Individual Object Recognition
Individual Object Recognition comes next to Object Category Recognition. The function recognizes an individual, e.g., Tom after getting acquainted with him. Unlike a category, an individual does not have instances and does not have different values for its feature at the same time (Leibniz’ law). A human being may inherently has the concept of individuals or may learn it by observing physical objects traversing in time-space. In any case, the mechanism of individual object recognition is different from category recognition.
2c Belief in External Objects
Belief in External Objects also comes next to Object Category Recognition. The function recognizes things as being exterior. Philosophically speaking, nobody can be completely sure that there are things beyond the mental realm. However, if an agent recognizes (the category of) ‘external’ objects, learns how to interact with them and thereby gets into ‘healthy’ relation with them, then it could be said to believe in the external objects (with the intentional stance).
2d Belief in Other Minds
The line Belief in Other Minds (Theory of Mind) comes next. This belief is the recognition of other people as having the mind similar to the believer itself. While Theory of Mind (ToM) may partly be learned from interaction with others, considering the fact that not every human being has ToM, some part of it would be genetic (mirror neurons would be part of it).