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Cogn Sci. 2015 Sep;39(7):1435-67. doi: 10.1111/cogs.12226. Epub 2015 Apr 2.

Conscious Vision in Action.

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Department of Philosophy, Ohio University.
Department of Philosophy, Florida State University.


It is natural to assume that the fine-grained and highly accurate spatial information present in visual experience is often used to guide our bodily actions. Yet this assumption has been challenged by proponents of the Two Visual Systems Hypothesis (TVSH), according to which visuomotor programming is the responsibility of a "zombie" processing stream whose sources of bottom-up spatial information are entirely non-conscious (Clark, 2007, 2009; Goodale & Milner, 1992, 2004a; Milner & Goodale, 1995/2006, 2008). In many formulations of TVSH, the role of conscious vision in action is limited to "recognizing objects, selecting targets for action, and determining what kinds of action, broadly speaking, to perform" (Clark, 2007, p. 570). Our aim in this study is to show that the available evidence not only fails to support this dichotomous view but actually reveals a significant role for conscious vision in motor programming, especially for actions that require deliberate attention.


Attention; Consciousness; Dorsal stream; Dual Visual Systems; Motor control; Ventral stream; Vision

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