Sensorimotor Laws, Mechanisms, and Representations

Alfredo VernazzaniRheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

Abstract

According to the sensorimotor account, vision does not imply the construction of internally generated representations of the environment, but it is the 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 provided by 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 role of representations within the sensorimotor theory should be reconsidered.

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