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Order and disorder in everyday action: the roles of contention scheduling and supervisory attention

Cooper, Richard P. (2002) Order and disorder in everyday action: the roles of contention scheduling and supervisory attention. Neurocase 8 (1 & 2), pp. 61-79. ISSN 1355-4794.


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This paper describes the contention scheduling/supervisory attentional system approach to action selection and uses this account to structure a survey of current theories of the control of action. The focus is on how such theories account for the types of error produced by some patients with frontal and/or left temporoparietal damage when attempting everyday tasks. Four issues, concerning both the theories and their accounts of everyday action breakdown, emerge: first, whether multiple control systems, each capable of controlling action in different situations, exist; second, whether different forms of damage at the neural level result in conceptually distinct disorders; third, whether semantic/conceptual knowledge of objects and actions can be dissociated from control mechanisms, and if so what computational principles govern sequential control; and fourth, whether disorders of everyday action should be attributed to a loss of semantic/conceptual knowledge, a malfunction of control, or some combination of the two.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © 2002 Psychology Press, Taylor & Francis. This is an electronic version of an article published in Neurocase. Neurocase is available online at: The final version of this paper can be viewed online at:
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Sandra Plummer
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2007
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:33

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