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A Common Coding Approach to Perception and Action

  • Chapter
Relationships Between Perception and Action

Abstract

This chapter is concerned with some of the issues involved in understanding how perception contributes to the control of actions. Roughly speaking, the term of action refers to any meaningful segment of an organisms intercourse with its environment. Two important features of this preliminary definition can be brought out more clearly when “actions” are contrasted with “responses” and “movements”. Unlike response-centered approaches to psychology, which consider the organisms activity more or less determined by the actual stimulus information, the action approach emphasizes intentional control as being simultaneous with (or even prior to) informational control of activity, assuming that intentional processes fix the rules for the selection and use of stimulus information (Heuer Prinz, 1987; Neumann Prinz, 1987). Unlike movement-centered approaches, which describe the organisms activity in terms of the dynamics of muscular contraction patterns and the kinematics of the resulting body movements, the action approach stresses the environmental consequences that go along with these bodily events, contending that meaningful interactions with the environment, rather than movements per se, should be considered the effective functional units of activity (Fowler Turvey, 1982; Neisser, 1985).

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Prinz, W. (1990). A Common Coding Approach to Perception and Action. In: Neumann, O., Prinz, W. (eds) Relationships Between Perception and Action. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-75348-0_7

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