Sensorimotor Laws, Mechanisms, and Representations

Proceedings of the 36th Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (2014)
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According to the sensorimotor account, vision does not imply theconstruction of internally generated representations of the environment, butit isthe skillful exercise of the sensorimotor contingencies obeying sense-specific laws. In this short study, I focus on the notion of “sensorimotor law” and characterize the kind of explanation providedby the sensorimotor theory as a form of covering law model. I then question the nature of such sensorimotor laws and describe them as mechanisms. I show that a mechanistic interpretation provides a better account of the sensorimotor invariances, which fosters us to rebalance the explanatory burden of sensorimotor action and information. Finally, I show that the question of the roleof representations within the sensorimotor theory should be reconsidered.

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Alfredo Vernazzani
Ruhr-Universität Bochum


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