Intentions: The Dynamic Hierarchical Model Revisited

Abstract: Ten years ago, one of us proposed a dynamic hierarchical model of intentions that brought together philosophical work on intentions and empirical work on motor representations and motor control (Pacherie, 2008). The model distinguished among Distal intentions, Proximal intentions, and Motor intentions operating at different levels of action control (hence the name DPM model). This model specified the representational and functional profiles of each type of intention, as well their local and global dynamics, and the ways in which they interact. A core insight of the model was that action control is the result of integrated, coordinated activity across these levels of intention. Since the proposal of the model, empirical and theoretical works in philosophy and cognitive science have emerged that would seem to support and expand on this central insight. In particular, an updated understanding of the nature of sensorimotor processing and motor representations, as well as of how the different levels of intention and control interface and interact, allows for the further specification and precisification of the original DPM model.

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