School of Philosophy Staff Seminar


Presented by Dr Wayne Christensen, Macquarie University

Start Date

22nd Aug 2012 3:00pm

End Date

22nd Aug 2012 5:00pm


Room 314 Lecture Theatre 2, Physics Building, Sandy Bay campus

RSVP / Contact Information

David Coady T: 6226 2272

Dr Wayne Christensen
Macquarie University

Title 'Cognitive Control in Skilled Action'

One of the most basic questions about skill is whether (and if so how and in what circumstances) cognitive processes make a contribution. Non-cognitive or automatic views are intuitively appealing and have been elaborated in several influential theories of skill learning and performance, including Anderson (1982) and Dreyfus et al. (1986). Some strands of recent empirical research have provided support for the non-cognitive position, indicating that experts have reduced memory for performance of sensorimotor skills (Beilock and Carr 2001), and that performance is impaired when it is attended (e.g. Wulf 2007). However there are also conflicting findings for skills thought of as 'sensorimotor' (e.g. Rosenbaum et al. 2007) and 'cognitive' (e.g. Holding and Reynolds 1982). Here we argue that cognitive processes make an important contribution to almost all skilled action, including sensorimotor skills. They tend to be focused on strategic aspects of task performance, and are most prominent in challenging conditions.