The Embodiment of Attention in the Perception-Action Loop

Authored by: Michael J. Spivey , Stephanie Huette

The Routledge Handbook of Embodied Cognition

Print publication date:  May  2014
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415623612
eBook ISBN: 9781315775845
Adobe ISBN: 9781317688662


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Decades ago, the sciences of mind were busy drawing insights from computer engineering. Cognitive scientists reasoned that if a computer can process information in an intelligent fashion, perhaps humans are exhibiting their intelligence via similar mechanisms. It was thought that we could “reverse engineer” the human mind by drawing an analogy to how a computer is engineered. Of course, this was not the first time that a new and exciting piece of technology had been used as a metaphor for the mind. The Greeks likened to the mind to a water pump, eighteenth-century Western philosophers likened the mind to a clock, and then theories of cognition were inspired by the steam engine, then by the telegraph, then by relay circuits, and now the computer (see Daugman, 1993). After using the computer metaphor for several decades now, is it possible that the insights it can provide have all been plumbed?

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