Publication 4553

Warren W. H. (2006) The dynamics of perception and action. Psychological Review 113(2): 358–389. Fulltext at
How might one account for the organization in behavior without attributing it to an internal control structure? The present article develops a theoretical framework called behavioral dynamics that inte- grates an information-based approach to perception with a dynamical systems approach to action. For a given task, the agent and its environment are treated as a pair of dynamical systems that are coupled mechanically and informationally. Their interactions give rise to the behavioral dynamics, a vector field with attractors that correspond to stable task solutions, repellers that correspond to avoided states, and bifurcations that correspond to behavioral transitions. The framework is used to develop theories of several tasks in which a human agent interacts with the physical environment, including bouncing a ball on a racquet, balancing an object, braking a vehicle, and guiding locomotion. Stable, adaptive behavior emerges from the dynamics of the interaction between a structured environment and an agent with simple control laws, under physical and informational constraints.




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