Tell me wha'd I say?

[From Rick Marken (931021.1100)]

Gary Cziko (931021.0221 ) quotes Neurobiologist Graham Hoyle
(1913-1985), in Susan Allport's _Explorers of the black box_
(Norton, 1986), p. 57.

" If there's input to the nevous system, fine. It will react to
it. But the nervous system is primarily a device for generating
action spontaneously."

Sounds like the nervous system reacts to inputs (it's S-R) but
primarily it GENERATES outputs. Maybe Graham forgot to mention (becuase
it's so obvious?) that those outputs produce pretty consistent
results in a highly variable enviomnet. I guess what he REALLY meant
is that "the nervous system is primarily a device for controlling
perceptions". He didn;t say it that way, but then he didn't know PCT
terminology, right Greg? Yep, another piece of evidence that life
scientists have understood PCT all along.

In an earlier post (931011.1100) that I called "false assumptions"
I quoted the following from an HF paper sent to me by Gavan Lintern:

"Of central concern in the ecological approach to perception (Gibson,
1966, 1979) is the perceptual support of activity. For perception to
be useful for the regulation of activity, a _sine qua non_ is that
perception provides the perceiver with reliable, and hence veridical,
knowledge about the environment and ongoing activities."

As I said, it seems like the authors assume that perception
regulates activity. Now in my dictionary "regulate" is defined
as "bring under control" and "control" is defined as "regulation".
So, call me crazy, but it seems like the authors are suggesting
that perception controls activity: not "influences" it --"controls"
it. Now the authors MIGHT mean "influence" when they say "regulation"
but then I wonder why is is so important that perception be "reliable"
for this influence to occur? I mean, activities can be influenced
by unreliable things. The authors SEEM to be saying that a person has
to reliably pick up JUST THE RIGHT information about the environment;
the kind of information that REGULATES activity PROPERLY. Now,
doesn't that sound a LITTLE like CONTROL BY PERCEPTION instead of
CONTROL OF PERCEPTION. At least, you can see how I might get
confused, can't you, Greg?

I'm probably wrong, of course. This is probably just another case
of misunderstanding. These people probably mean that activities
are used to regulate (control) perceptual variables -- they just
say it a little differently than I do (like the opposite way).
Oh, and then they study it a little differently, too -- by looking
at the relationship between perceptual variables and activities
instead of looking for the perceptual variables that a regulated
by activity. But I'm sure that's just more confusion on my part.
They are probably testing for controlled variables and using
conventional statistical methods because that's what they're used
to doing.

Now I see. Perhaps I could help them understand PCT if I used THEIR
terminology. So, when I want to say that perceptual variables
ARE CONTROLLED I should say perceptual variables CONTROL. You're
right, Greg, that's not so hard. We should have everyone
understanding PCT in no time now.

Best

Rick