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Embodied skillful performance: where the action is

Hipólito, I; Baltieri, M; Friston, K; Ramstead, MJD; (2021) Embodied skillful performance: where the action is. Synthese 10.1007/s11229-020-02986-5. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

© 2021, The Author(s). When someone masters a skill, their performance looks to us like second nature: it looks as if their actions are smoothly performed without explicit, knowledge-driven, online monitoring of their performance. Contemporary computational models in motor control theory, however, are instructionist: that is, they cast skillful performance as a knowledge-driven process. Optimal motor control theory (OMCT), as representative par excellence of such approaches, casts skillful performance as an instruction, instantiated in the brain, that needs to be executed—a motor command. This paper aims to show the limitations of such instructionist approaches to skillful performance. We specifically address the question of whether the assumption of control-theoretic models is warranted. The first section of this paper examines the instructionist assumption, according to which skillful performance consists of the execution of theoretical instructions harnessed in motor representations. The second and third sections characterize the implementation of motor representations as motor commands, with a special focus on formulations from OMCT. The final sections of this paper examine predictive coding and active inference—behavioral modeling frameworks that descend, but are distinct, from OMCT—and argue that the instructionist, control-theoretic assumptions are ill-motivated in light of new developments in active inference.

Type: Article
Title: Embodied skillful performance: where the action is
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s11229-020-02986-5
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11229-020-02986-5
Language: English
Additional information: Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Optimal control theory, Instructionism, Motor representation, Action-oriented representation, Active inference, Skillful performance
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10121860
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