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Trends Cogn Sci. 2014 Apr;18(4):186-93. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2014.01.006. Epub 2014 Feb 26.

Supra-personal cognitive control and metacognition.

Author information

1
Department of Philosophy, King's College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS, UK.
2
Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3UD, UK.
3
Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3UD, UK; Calleva Research Centre for Evolution and Human Sciences, Magdalen College, High Street, Oxford OX1 4AU, UK; Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University, Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4, Building 1483, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark.
4
All Souls College, High Street, Oxford OX1 4AL, UK.
5
Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University, Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4, Building 1483, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark; Wellcome Trust Centre for NeuroImaging at UCL, 12 Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK. Electronic address: c.frith@ucl.ac.uk.

Abstract

The human mind is extraordinary in its ability not merely to respond to events as they unfold but also to adapt its own operation in pursuit of its agenda. This 'cognitive control' can be achieved through simple interactions among sensorimotor processes, and through interactions in which one sensorimotor process represents a property of another in an implicit, unconscious way. So why does the human mind also represent properties of cognitive processes in an explicit way, enabling us to think and say 'I'm sure' or 'I'm doubtful'? We suggest that 'system 2 metacognition' is for supra-personal cognitive control. It allows metacognitive information to be broadcast, and thereby to coordinate the sensorimotor systems of two or more agents involved in a shared task.

PMID:
24582436
PMCID:
PMC3989995
DOI:
10.1016/j.tics.2014.01.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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