The modularity of the motor system

Philosophical Explorations 24 (3):376-393 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In this paper, I make a case for the modularity of the motor system. I start where many do in discussions of modularity, by considering the extent to which the motor system is cognitively penetrable, i.e., the extent to which its processing and outputs are causally influenced, in a semantically coherent way, by states of central cognition. I present some empirical findings from a range of sensorimotor adaptation studies that strongly suggest that there are limits to such influence under certain conditions. These results cry out for an explanation. In the remainder of the paper, I provide one: The motor system is cognitively penetrable, but nonetheless modular along broadly Fodorian lines, insofar as it is informationally encapsulated. This means that its access is limited to its own proprietary database in computing its function from input to output, which does not include the information stored in central cognition. I then offer a model of action control, from distal intention to action outcomes, that further helps to illustrate this picture and can accommodate the target empirical findings.

Similar books and articles

Diversity and Unity of Modularity.Bongrae Seok - 2006 - Cognitive Science 30 (2):347-380.
Modularity of Mind, Encapsulation by Nature.Bongrae Seok - 2000 - Dissertation, The University of Arizona
Affective Simulation, Imitation, and the Motor Mirror System.Sergio Levi - 2008 - Perspectives: International Postgraduate Journal of Philosophy 1 (1):38-50.
Against the “system” module.John Zerilli - 2017 - Philosophical Psychology 30 (3):231-246.
Embodied cognition.Fred Adams - 2010 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):619-628.
Moderately massive modularity.Peter Carruthers - 2003 - In Anthony O'Hear (ed.), Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement. Cambridge University Press. pp. 67-89.
Assembling the emotions.Vincent Bergeron & Mohan Matthen - 2008 - In Luc Faucher & Christine Tappolet (eds.), The Modularity of Emotions. University of Calgary Press. pp. 185-212.
Modularity and Mental Architecture.Philip Robbins - 2013 - WIREs Cognitive Science 4 (6):641-648.
Modularity and relevant logic.James Garson - 1989 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 30 (2):207-223.
On the input problem for massive modularity.John M. Collins - 2004 - Minds and Machines 15 (1):1-22.

Analytics

Added to PP
2021-07-29

Downloads
80 (#153,702)

6 months
22 (#51,744)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?