A framework called Cresceptron is introduced for automatic algorithm design through learning of concepts and rules, thus deviating from the traditional mode in which humans specify the rules comprising a vision algorithm. With the Cresceptron, humans as designers need only to provide a good structure for learning, but they are relieved of most design details. The Cresceptron has been tested on the task of visual recognition: recognizing 3-D general objects from 2-D photographic images of natural scenes and segmenting the recognized objects from the cluttered image background. The Cresceptron uses a hierarchical structure to grow networks automatically, adaptively and incrementally through learning. The Cresceptron makes it possible to generalize training exemplars to other perceptually equivalent items. Experiments with a variety of real-world images are reported to demonstrate the feasibility of learning in the Cresceptron.