(Copyright © 2000 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
The aim of this formula-intense book is to discover the general psychophysical
equations of sensations from which well-known empirical laws
(such as Weber's, Fechner's and Stevens') can be derived more or less trivially.
The result of this theoretical investigation is the "entropic theory of perception": a perceptual variable (such as the intensity of a stimulus) is proportional to the information entropy.
In other words, the brain responds in proportion to the entropy of a stimulus.
Along the way, Norwich provides competent primers on neurology, thermodynamics and information theory.
His equations show that percepts evolve in a way opposite to the evolution of the universe. Just like the universe began in a "Big Bang" that had minimal entropy and is evolving towards higher and higher entropy, a percept starts as a state of high informational entropy and evolves towards a state of minimal entropy.
This apparent contradiction (that "knowledge" seems to proceed in a time direction opposite to the rest of the universe) is resolved in the last chapter, a philosophical vision that merges George Berkeley's idealism, Relativity and the Anthropic Principle. Because the perceiver determines (to an extent) the world that s/he perceives, Norwich thinks that his equation is a mathematical representation of Berkeley's philosophy.
TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi