Implicit biases in visually guided action

Synthese:1-25 (2020)
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For almost half a century dual-stream advocates have vigorously defended the view that there are two functionally specialized cortical streams of visual processing originating in the primary visual cortex: a ventral, perception-related ‘conscious’ stream and a dorsal, action-related ‘unconscious’ stream. They furthermore maintain that the perceptual and memory systems in the ventral stream are relatively shielded from the action system in the dorsal stream. In recent years, this view has come under scrutiny. Evidence points to two overlapping action pathways: a dorso-dorsal pathway that calculates features of the object to be acted on, and a ventro-dorsal pathway that transmits stored information about skilled object use from the ventral stream to the dorso-dorsal pathway. This evidence suggests that stored information may exert significantly more influence on visually guided action than hitherto assumed. I argue that this, in turn, supports the notion of skilled automatic action that is nonetheless agential. My focus here will be on actions influenced by implicit biases (stereotypes/prejudices). Action that is biased in this way, I argue, is in an important sense intentional and agential.
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First archival date: 2020-04-25
Latest version: 2 (2020-04-28)
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