Modes of Body Perception and Knowledge

One can walk and at the same time have an intellectually demanding discussion. The motor acts of walking and speaking result in changes in the spatial relationships between body parts. These changes have to be constantly monitored in order to enable adequate chaining of motor acts but should not distract attention from the arguments of the discussion. In other situations—for example, when learning a new dancing step—one may pay attention to the relationships between involved body parts and monitor them consciously, presumably being unable to deal with any intellectual problems simultaneously. There are thus two modes of perceiving and knowing one's own body: One functions in the background of attention and is implicitly used in action control, whereas the other one demands focused attention and gives rise to explicit knowledge about body configurations.

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