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From a Sensorimotor Account of Perception to an Interactive Approach to Psychopathology

From a Sensorimotor Account of Perception to an Interactive Approach to Psychopathology

Chapter:
(p.347) 14 From a Sensorimotor Account of Perception to an Interactive Approach to Psychopathology
Source:
Disturbed Consciousness
Author(s):
Erik MyinJ. Kevin O’ReganInez Myin-Germeys
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262029346.003.0014

Erik Myin, Inez Myin-Germeys, and Kevin O’Regan explain that according to the sensorimotor approach to perception, perceptual experience should be seen as a way of interacting with the environment. What distinguishes different perceptual experiences is the different ways in which a perceiver perceptually engages with the environment. What differentiates hearing from seeing are the differences between the patterns of auditory versus visual engaging with the world. Similarly, within a single sub-modality such as color vision, what sets apart an experience of red from an experience of green are also the differences in the modes of interaction with the environment. It has been argued by sensorimotor theorists that this relocation of emphasis from the brain to the interaction with the environment dissolves many problems regarding understanding the nature of phenomenal consciousness. They argue that a similar shift of emphasis away from a brainbound approach to an interactive one is possible in psychopathology. Indeed, such a shift is implemented in approaches to psychopathology which focus on the role of person-environment interactions in the study of the positive and negative phenomena of psychosis. On a theoretical level, this has led to the view of schizophrenia as a “salience dysregulation syndrome.”

Keywords:   Consciousness, Sensorimotor (Enactive) Theory, Interactive Approach, Perceptual Experience, Salience Dysregulation Syndrome, Psychopathology, Psychosis

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