, Volume 129, Issue 1, pp 79–103 | Cite as

What it is like to see: A sensorimotor theory of perceptual experience

  • J. Kevin O'Regan
  • Alva noë


The paper proposes a way of bridging the gapbetween physical processes in the brain and the ''felt''aspect of sensory experience. The approach is based onthe idea that experience is not generated by brainprocesses themselves, but rather is constituted by theway these brain processes enable a particular form of''give-and-take'' between the perceiver and theenvironment. From this starting-point we are able tocharacterize the phenomenological differences betweenthe different sensory modalities in a more principledway than has been done in the past. We are also ableto approach the issues of visual awareness andconsciousness in a satisfactory way. Finally weconsider a number of testable empirical consequences,one of which is the striking prediction of thephenomenon of ''change blindness''.


Physical Process Blindness Sensory Modality Perceptual Experience Sensory Experience 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Kevin O'Regan
    • 1
  • Alva noë
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Psychologie Expérimentale Centre National de Recherche ScientifiqueUniversité René DescartesBoulogne BillancourtFrance
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of CaliforniaSanta Cruz Santa Cruz

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