Thinking as the Control of Imagination: a Conceptual Framework for Goal-Directed Systems

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
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,707
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

12 ( #205,927 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)


How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.