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Behav Brain Sci. 2001 Oct;24(5):849-78; discussion 878-937.

The Theory of Event Coding (TEC): a framework for perception and action planning.

Author information

1
Section of Experimental and Theoretical Psychology, University of Leiden, 2300 RB Leiden, The Netherlands. hommel@fsw.leidenuniv.nl

Abstract

Traditional approaches to human information processing tend to deal with perception and action planning in isolation, so that an adequate account of the perception-action interface is still missing. On the perceptual side, the dominant cognitive view largely underestimates, and thus fails to account for, the impact of action-related processes on both the processing of perceptual information and on perceptual learning. On the action side, most approaches conceive of action planning as a mere continuation of stimulus processing, thus failing to account for the goal-directedness of even the simplest reaction in an experimental task. We propose a new framework for a more adequate theoretical treatment of perception and action planning, in which perceptual contents and action plans are coded in a common representational medium by feature codes with distal reference. Perceived events (perceptions) and to-be-produced events (actions) are equally represented by integrated, task-tuned networks of feature codes--cognitive structures we call event codes. We give an overview of evidence from a wide variety of empirical domains, such as spatial stimulus-response compatibility, sensorimotor synchronization, and ideomotor action, showing that our main assumptions are well supported by the data.

PMID:
12239891
DOI:
10.1017/s0140525x01000103
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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