Control of Perception Should be Operationalized as a Fundamental Property of the Nervous System

Topics in Cognitive Science 3 (2):257-261 (2011)
Abstract
This commentary proposes that “cognitive control” is neither componential nor emergent, but a fundamental feature of behavior. The term “control” requires an operational definition. This is best provided by the negative feedback loop that utilizes behavior to control perception; it does not control behavior per se. In order to model complex cognitive control, Perceptual Control Theory proposes that loops are organized into a dissociable hierarchical network (PCT; Powers, Clark, & McFarland, 1960; Powers, 1973a, 2008). In this way, behavior is dynamically adaptive to environmental disturbances, rather than being formed by, or superimposed upon, learned associations between stimulus and response
Keywords Hierarchy  Cybernetics  Interdisciplinary  Control theory  Negative feedback  Integrative
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