A fresh look at the two visual streams

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According to what I’ll call the ‘two visual systems account’ (TWO-SYSTEMS), visual processing is divided into two independent sub-systems, a ventral system implementing ‘vision for perception’ and a dorsal system implementing ‘vision for action’ (Milner and Goodale, 2006). TWO-SYSTEMS is widely discussed in philosophy due to the counter-intuitive role that it posits for conscious experience in the control of actions. However, recent evidence undermines the model’s core tenets: it no longer appears that the ventral and dorsal streams constitute isolated processing systems, and there is now evidence for the involvement of both streams in conscious experience and online motor control. I articulate a new ‘direct dorsal control account’ (DORSAL-CONTROL), show that it is immune to three empirical challenges facing TWO-SYSTEMS, and show that it nonetheless has similarly significant implications for the perceiving mind.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-207
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Consciousness Studies
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Imprint Academic. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Artificial Intelligence


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