Self-directedness, integration and higher cognition

Wayne Christensen*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    In this paper, I discuss connections between self-directedness, integration and higher cognition. I present a model of self-directedness as a basis for approaching higher cognition from a situated cognition perspective. According to this model increases in sensorimotor complexity create pressure for integrative higher order control and learning processes for acquiring information about the context in which action occurs. This generates complex articulated abstractive information processing, which forms the major basis for higher cognition. I present evidence that indicates that the same integrative characteristics found in lower cognitive process such as motor adaptation are present in a range of higher cognitive process, including conceptual learning. This account helps explain situated cognition phenomena in humans because the integrative processes by which the brain adapts to control interaction are relatively agnostic concerning the source of the structure participating in the process. Thus, from the perspective of the motor control system using a tool is not fundamentally different to simply controlling an arm.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)661-692
    Number of pages32
    JournalLanguage Sciences
    Issue number6 SPEC. ISS.
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004


    • Evolution
    • Executive cognition
    • Learning
    • Situated cognition


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