Granularity of cognitive representations in actions - Advances to the cognitive architecture of actions

by Heiko Lex

Institution: Universität Bielefeld
Degree: PhD
Year: 2015
Record ID: 1100019
Full text PDF: http://pub.uni-bielefeld.de/publication/2732984


The perspectives described in the current thesis are restricted to considerations about the control of voluntary movements at the level of mental representation. The question is which cognitive mechanisms enable humans to execute voluntary movements and how they are accessed. Several scientific theories and models described the cognitive organization of voluntary movements. A promising approach postulates the existence of cognitive representations. Cognitive representations might constitute a plausible connection between the to-be-produced environmental effects and the actual (muscular managed) control of the own body. The current thesis describes research results delivered from experiments, which investigated cognitive representations at three different movement-related complexity levels: manual actions (1), complex actions (2), and interactions (3). The representation structures at all the levels of different complexity revealed similarities regarding the organization of the corresponding representation units. The data of the current thesis proposes a hierarchical order formation at the level of mental representations in the cognitive architecture of complex actions. This order formation distinguishes the stages of action organization (e.g., Basic Interaction Concepts), action control (e.g., Basic Action Con-cepts), and action implementation (e.g., Basic Movement Concepts) from each other. This thesis discusses the findings, and expands the approach of the cognitive architecture of complex actions with regard to the granularity of cognitive representations in actions.