Cognitive Complexity and the Sensorimotor Frontier

Abstract

What is the relation between perceptual experience and the suite of sensorimotor skills that enable us to act in the very world we perceive? The relation, according to ‘sensorimotor models’ is tight indeed. Perceptual experience, on these accounts, is enacted via skilled sensorimotor activity, and gains its content and character courtesy of our knowledge of the relations between movement and sensory stimulation. I shall argue that this formulation is too extreme, and that it fails to accommodate the substantial firewalls, dis-integrations, and specialpurpose streamings that form the massed strata of human cognition. In particular, such strong sensorimotor models threaten to obscure the computationally potent insensitivity of key information-processing events to the full subtleties of embodied cycles of sensing and moving.

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Andy Clark
University of Sussex

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