Thinking as the Control of Imagination: a Conceptual Framework for Goal-Directed Systems
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Psychological Research 73 (4):559-577 (2009)
This paper offers a conceptual framework which (re)integrates goal-directed control, motivational processes, and executive functions, and suggests a developmentalpathway from situated action to higher level cognition. We first illustrate a basic computational (control-theoretic) model of goal-directed action that makes use of internalmodeling. We then show that by adding the problem of selection among multiple actionalternatives motivation enters the scene, and that the basic mechanisms of executivefunctions such as inhibition, the monitoring of progresses, and working memory, arerequired for this system to work. Further, we elaborate on the idea that the off-line re-enactment of anticipatory mechanisms used for action control gives rise to (embodied)mental simulations, and propose that thinking consists essentially in controlling mental simulations rather than directly controlling behavior and perceptions. We concludeby sketching an evolutionary perspective of this process, proposing that anticipationleveraged cognition, and by highlighting specific predictions of our model.
|Keywords||prediction goal-directed simulation|
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Citations of this work BETA
Giovanni Pezzulo (2011). Grounding Procedural and Declarative Knowledge in Sensorimotor Anticipation. Mind and Language 26 (1):78-114.
Peter A. White (2015). The Pre-Reflective Experience of “I” as a Continuously Existing Being: The Role of Temporal Functional Binding. Consciousness and Cognition 31:98-114.
Luca Tummolini (2014). Making Our Ends Meet: Shared Intention, Goal Adoption and the Third-Person Perspective. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (1):75-98.
Warren Mansell (2011). Control of Perception Should Be Operationalized as a Fundamental Property of the Nervous System. Topics in Cognitive Science 3 (2):257-261.
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