Perception, action, and experience: Unravelling the golden braid

Andy Clark*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Much of our human mental life looks to involve a seamless unfolding of perception, action, and experience: a golden braid in which each element twines intimately with the rest. We see the very world we act in and we act in the world we see. But more than this, visual experience presents us with the world in a way apt for the control and fine guidance of action. Or so it seems. Milner and Goodale's influential work on the dual visual systems hypothesis casts doubt on certain versions of this intuitive vision. It does so by prising apart the twining strands of conscious visual perception and the fine control of visuomotor action. This chapter first clarifies the major claims that the bold proposal involves. It then examines three sets of worries and objections. The first set concerns some important matters of detail. The second set concerns a certain kind of conceptual or philosophical worry to the effect that the perception/action model equates visual experience itself unfairly with what are in fact certain elements within visual experience. The third set concerns the very idea of conscious experience as a well-defined conceptual or experimental target.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerception, Action, and Consciousness: Sensorimotor Dynamics and Two Visual Systems
EditorsMichael Madary, Nivedita Gangopadhyay, Finn Spicer
Place of PublicationOxford, United Kingdom
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780191594960
ISBN (Print)9780199551118
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Conscious experience
  • Conscious visual perception
  • Dual visual systems
  • Milner and goodale
  • Perception
  • Perception/action model
  • Visuomotor action


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