Why Vision is More than Seeing Academic Article uri icon


  • Vision is so closely identified with visual phenomenology that we sometimes forget that the visual system does more than deliver our experience of the world. Vision also plays a critical role in the control of our movements, from picking up our coffee cups to playing tennis. But the visual control of movement has, until recently, been relatively neglected. Indeed, traditional accounts of vision, while acknowledging the role of vision in motor control, have simply regarded such control as part of a larger function – that of constructing an internal model of the external world. Even though such accounts might postulate separate ‘modules’ for the processing of different visual features, such as motion, colour, texture, and form, in most of these accounts there is an implicit assumption that, in the end, vision delivers a single representation of the external world – a kind of simulacrum of the real thing that serves as the perceptual foundation for all visually driven thought and action.

publication date

  • 2001