Conscious Vision in Action
Robert Briscoe and I have been working for quite some time on a paper that synthesizes work that the two of us had been doing independently concerning the Two Visual Systems Hypothesis. Each of us is concerned (albeit with somewhat different motivations) to defend the idea that conscious visual awareness plays a direct role in controlling visually-guided behavior. However, that idea is widely supposed to have been refuted by Milner and Goodale’s influential theory, according to which direct visuomotor guidance is an entirely non-conscious affair. (See Andy Clark’s famous Phil. Review paper for the most forceful statement of this claim.)
Robert and I argue, however, that this common supposition is absolutely unfounded: we review the empirical evidence for TVSH very carefully, and argue at length that this evidence is entirely compatible with the supposition of a direct role for conscious vision in the guidance of action, and in deep conflict with the claim that visuomotor guidance is entirely the responsibility of the non-conscious dorsal system. How do we show this? A link to our paper is below. We plan to send it to a journal some time soon, but in the meantime we would be very grateful for feedback from anyone who’d like to read it. Feel free to post in the comments below, or to send one of us an e-mail.