Experiential blindness revisited: In defense of a case of embodied cognition

Cognitive Systems Research 11:396-407 (2010)
Abstract
The sensorimotor theory (Noe¨, 2004, in press) discusses a special instance of lack of perceptual experience despite no sensory impairment. The phenomenon dubbed “experiential blindness” is cited as evidence for a constitutive relation between sensorimotor skills and perceptual experience. Recently it has been objected (Adams & Aizawa, 2008; Aizawa, 2007) that the cases described by Noe¨ as experiential blindness are cases of pure sensory deficit. This paper argues that while the objections bring out limitations of Noe¨’s sensorimotor theory they do not do enough to challenge a robust perception–action interdependence claim. There are genuine cases of experiential blindness and these are better explained by the hypothesis of the interdependence of perception and action rather than by a passive vision approach. The cases provide support for a strong thesis of embodied cognition where ongoing sensorimotor dynamics non-trivially constrain perceptual content
Keywords perception  action  sensorimotor dynamics  experiential blindness
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