Tracking Blind, Identifying PCT Research

y[From Rick Marken (950510.2200)]

Bill Powers (950510.0930 MDT) --

I can feel myself switching back and forth between visual tracking and
kinesthetic tracking, in the "mixed" mode. At no time does it seem
that I am imagining a cursor and trying to control it. But it does seem
that I am using other real-time perceptions. Such subjective
impressions are subject to bias, of course, but I don't think that a
world-model of the cursor movements exists at least in a form
available to my awareness. Rick Marken, what's your experience?

When the cursor disappears my experience seems the same as yours; I
am controlling a relationship between a kinesthetic perception (of
mouse movement) and the visual target. And I am extremely lousy at
maintaining the "correct" relationship between these perceptions; the
one that keeps the invisible cursor on target. When the target
disappears I control the cursor relative to a vague memory of the
"rhythm" of target movement; I don't actually imagine the visual
configuration of the target; I just imagine the temporal pattern (I seem
to be imagining only the relevant perceptual charcteristic of the target).
I can get quite good at this (I can keep the cursor "tracking" the
invisible cursor pretty well).

Bruce Abbott (950510.1530 EST) --

In the following I quote your statement and then attempt a summary
and, in some cases, clarification.

[EXCELLENT summaries and clarifications follow]

Do those restatements accurately reflect your intended meanings?

Yes. I feel like I'm listening to a lucid version of myself:-)

Is there anything left out?

Not a thing. I would suggest for consideration, however, using
"controlled perceptual variable" rather than "controlled perception"
when possible. I don't think there is anything wrong with talking
about controlled perceptions. I just think it is important to stay aware
of the fact that only variables can be controlled. For example, we don't
control a "car"; we control variable aspects of a car; it's speed, position,
color, shape, model, condition, etc. The fact that variables are
controlled makes sense of the fact that different people can be
controlling the same "thing" (variable) but producing different results
(different references states). My idea of controlling a car (bland color,
safe speed, clean, etc) is somewhat different than my son's, for example.

Also, would you consider research on, e.g., the control mechanisms
responsible for eyelid positioning and the eyeblink as PCT research?

If it meets the above criteria than it certainly does. Indeed, my criteria
could include a lot of intereting research -- plant "tropisms", for
example. But a lot of research that talks about "control mechanisms" is
not really about control. Let's see some of the data obtained in eyelid
positioning and eyeblink research and we'll be able to tell whether
or not they are studying control.

Best

Rick