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Understanding EventsFrom Perception to Action$
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Thomas F. Shipley and Jeffrey M. Zacks

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195188370

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195188370.001.0001

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The Role of Segmentation in Perception and Understanding of Events

The Role of Segmentation in Perception and Understanding of Events

(p.391) 15 The Role of Segmentation in Perception and Understanding of Events
Understanding Events

Stephan Schwan

Bärbel Garsoffky

Oxford University Press

Somewhere along the line of cognitive processes going from perception to recounting, a transition must take place by which this continuous stream of events is segmented into a sequence of discrete units. This chapter analyzes event segmentation. Darren Newtson's model of the perceptual and cognitive mechanisms of event segmentation is discussed. According to this model, observers are not confined to one invariant type of segmenting over a given course of events. Instead, the definition of event segments results from a complex interplay of both characteristics of the observed event and of personal factors, the latter ranging from stable cognitive traits to observational goals, prior knowledge, and mood states. As a consequence, variations in segmentations have been shown to have a substantial impact on higher cognitive processes such as memorization, causal attribution, decision making, or experience of time.

Keywords:   event perception, cognitive processes, Darren Newtson, memory, cognition

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