SMT Roadmap & Bibliography

updated 2021-04-10

SMT Roadmap and Complete Bibliography

Here is a historical overview of developments of the sensorimotor theory from its very beginnings in 1996, with indication of some of the critical ideas and associated papers. The links to the cited papers as well as others can be found in the bibliography in the second part of the page.

The original “real mysteries of vision” paper

  • O’Regan (1996): Solving the “real mysteries” of visual perception

    • “the world as an outside memory”
    • against internal representations
    • role of action in perception (MacKay’s “sensorimotor contingencies”)

The first key paper on SMT

  • O’Regan & Noë 2001, BBS: Sensorimotor theory of vision and visual consciousness

    • exercising mastery of sensorimotor contingencies; sensation vs perception
    • awareness (cognitive access)
    • vividness (presence) through grabbiness (alerting capacity)
    • purports to bridge the explanatory gap

Noë’s work

  • action, environment, biology: Action in Perception (Noë, 2004)
  • “grand illusion”: Noë & O’Regan (2000)
  • role of the brain: Hurley & Noë (2003); Out of Our Heads (Noë, 2009)

My first philosophical refinements

  • relation to “skill” theories (Myin & O’Regan, 2002)
  • bodiliness (corporality), grabbiness (alerting capacity), insubordinateness (O’Regan, Myin, Noë, 2004; 2005)
  • phenomenality plot, analytic phenomenology
  • what people say about qualia: O’Regan (2010)
  • robot consciousness: O’Regan (2007; 2010; 2012)
  • smell: Cooke & Myin (2011)

My book, further refinements

  • O’Regan 2011: Why red doesnt sound like a bell: Phenomenal Consciousness (“Feel”)

    • consciousness in general — purports to solve hard problem
    • 2 levels of “cognitive access”
    • “self”

2013-2019: ERC “FEEL” project

  • explanatory status, radical enactivism, continuum of cognitive access: O’Regan (2014)
  • absolute and relative explanatory gap; mental manipulation; access through self: O’Regan (2016)- synesthesia: O’Regan & Degenaar (2014); Silverman (2018 JCS)
  • sensorimotor, autopoietic, radical enactivism: Degenaar & O’Regan (2017); Villalobos & Silverman (2018);
  • enactivism & imagery: Foglia & O’Regan (2014)
  • predictive processing: O’Regan  & Degenaar (2014)
  • psychopathology: Myin, O’Regan, Myin-Germeys (2015)
  • representations, content, explanatory gap, hard problem: Silverman (2016 PQ; CF; 2017 JCS; 2017 PCS)

Empirical applications of SMT

  • space (Philipona; Laflaquière; Terekhov)
  • neural nets, camera calibration (Terekhov; Montone)
  • color (Philipona; Witzel; Vazquez-Corral)
  • Rubber hand illusion, pain (Valenzuela-Moguillansky)
  • sensory substitution (NaviEar -Witzel, FeelSpace – Schumann, FeelSpeech – Rizza, Terekhov)
  • babies (Fagard, Rat-Fischer, Somogyi, Esseily, Jacquey, Popescu…)

Complete Bibliography of SMT

(My own and my collaborators’ published articles relevant to SMT)

Auvray, M., Hanneton, S., & O’Regan, J. K. (2007). Learning to Perceive with a Visuo — Auditory Substitution System: Localisation and Object Recognition with ‘The Voice.’ Perception, 36(3), 416–430. Download
Auvray, M., Hanneton, S., Lenay, C., & O’Regan, K. (2005). There is something out there: distal attribution in sensory substitution, twenty years later. Journal of Integrative Neuroscience, 4(4), 505–521. Download
Bompas, A., & O’Regan, J. K. (2006). Evidence for a role of action in colour perception. Perception, 35(1), 65–78.
Bompas, A., & O’Regan, J. K. (2006). More evidence for sensorimotor adaptation in color perception. Journal of Vision, 6(2), 145–153.
Clark, D., Schumann, F., & Mostofsky, S. H. (2015). Mindful movement and skilled attention. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9(June), 1–23.
Cooke, E., & Myin, E. (2011). Is Trilled Smell Possible? How the Structure of Olfaction Determines the Phenomenology of Smell. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 18(11–12), 59–95. Download
Degenaar, J. (2013). Perception from the phenomenal stance. Logique et Analyse, 223, 273–286. Download
Degenaar, J. (2013). Through the inverting glass: first-person observations on spatial vision and imagery. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences. Download
Degenaar, J., & Keijzer, F. (2009). Workspace and Sensorimotor Theories: Complementary Approaches to Experience. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 16(9), 77–102. Download
Degenaar, J., & Myin, E. (2014). The structure of color experience and the existence of surface colors. Philosophical Psychology, 27(3), 384–400. Download
Degenaar, J., & Myin, E. (2014). Representation-hunger reconsidered. Synthese, Volume 191(Issue 15), 3639–3648. Download
Degenaar, J., & O’Regan, J. K. (2015). Sensorimotor theory of consciousness. Scholarpedia, 10(5), 4952. Download
Degenaar, J., & O’Regan, J. K. (2017). Sensorimotor theory and enactivism. Topoi, 1–15. Download
Esseily, R., Rat-Fischer, L., O’Regan, J. K., & Fagard, J. (2013). Understanding the experimenter’s intention improves 16-month-olds’ observational learning of the use of a novel tool. Cognitive Development, 28(1), 1–9.
Fagard, J., Rat-Fischer, L., & O’Regan, J. K. (2014). The emergence of use of a rake-like tool: a longitudinal study in human infants. Frontiers in Psychology, 5.
Fagard, J., Florean, C., Petkovic, M., Rat-Fischer, L., Fattori, P., & O’Regan, J. K. (2015). When do infants understand that they can obtain a desired part of a composite object by grasping another part? Infant Behavior and Development, 41, 169–178. psyarchiv. Download
Fagard, J., Rat-Fischer, L., Esseily, R., Somogyi, E., & O’Regan, J. K. (2016). What Does It Take for an Infant to Learn How to Use a Tool by Observation? Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 267.
Flachot, A. (n.d.). ‪Master thesis: Extensions of a linear model of surface reflectance‬. Retrieved September 13, 2021, from
Flachot, A., Provenzi, E., & O’Regan, J. K. (2016). An illuminant-independent analysis of reflectance as sensed by humans, and its applicability to computer vision. 2016 6th European Workshop on Visual Information Processing (EUVIP), 1–6. Download Download
Foglia, L., & O’Regan, J. K. (2015). A New Imagery Debate: Enactive and Sensorimotor Accounts. Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 6(22), 181–196. Download
Huebner, G. M., Shipworth, D. S., Witzel, C., Raynham, P., Chan, W., & Gauthier, S. (2016). Saving energy with light? Experimental studies assessing the impact of colour temperature on thermal comfort. Energy Research & Social Science, 15, 45–57.
Hurley, S. (2001). Perception And Action: Alternative Views. Synthese, 129(1), 3–40. Download
Hurley, S., & Noë, A. (2003). Neural Plasticity and Consciousness. Biology and Philosophy, 18(1), 131–168. Download
Laflaquière, A., O’Regan, J. K., Argentieri, S., Gas, B., & Terekhov, A. V. (2015). Learning agent’s spatial configuration from sensorimotor invariants. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 71, 49–59. Download Download
Laflaquière, A., O’Regan, J. K., Gas, B., & Terekhov, A. (2018). Discovering space — Grounding spatial topology and metric regularity in a naive agent’s sensorimotor experience. Neural Networks, 105, 371–392. Download
Mannella, F., Santucci, V. G., Somogyi, E., Jacquey, L., O’Regan, J. K., & Baldassare, G. (2018). Know Your Body Through Intrinsic Goals. Front. Neurorobot. Download
Montone, G., O’Regan, J. K., & Terekhov, A. V. (2015). Unsupervised model-free camera calibration algorithm for robotic applications. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS). Download
Montone, G., O’Regan, J. K., & Terekhov, A. V. (2015). The usefulness of past knowledge when learning a new task in deep neural networks. Proceedings of the 2015th International Conference on Cognitive Computation: Integrating Neural and Symbolic Approaches-Volume, 1583, 10–18.
Mossio, M., & Taraborelli, D. (2008). Action-dependent perceptual invariants: From ecological to sensorimotor approaches. Consciousness and Cognition, 17(4), 1324–1340. Download
Myin, E., & O’Regan, J. K. (2002). Perceptual consciousness, access to modality and skill theories. A way to naturalize phenomenology? Journal of Consciousness Studies, 9(1), 27–46. Download
Noë, A. (2004). Action in Perception. MIT Press.
Noë, A. (2009). Out of our heads: Why you are not your brain, and other lessons from the biology of consciousness. Macmillan.
Noë, A., & O’Regan, J. K. (2000). Perception, attention, and the grand illusion. Psyche, 6(15), 6–15. Download
O’Regan, J. K. (2001). The ‘feel’ of seeing: Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 5(6), 278–279. Download
O’Regan, J. K. (1992). Solving the “real” mysteries of visual perception: The world as an outside memory. Canadian Journal of Psychology, 46(3), 461–488. Download
O’Regan, J. K. (2011). Why red doesn’t sound like a bell: Understanding the feel of consciousness. Oxford University Press. Download
O’Regan, J. K. (1992). Solving the" real" mysteries of visual perception: the world as an outside memory. Canadian Journal of Psychology/Revue Canadienne de Psychologie, 46(3), 461–488. Download
O’Regan, J. K. (2022). A Brief Summary of the Sensorimotor Theory of Phenomenal Consciousness. PsyArXiv. Download
O’Regan, J. K. (2016). How the Sensorimotor Approach to Consciousness Bridges Both Comparative and Absolute Explanatory Gaps: And Some Refinements of the Theory. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 23(5–6), 39–65. Download
O’Regan, J. K. (2023). How voluntary control over information and body movements determines “what it’s like” to have perceptual, bodily, emotional and mental experiences. Frontiers in Psychology, 13. Download
O’Regan, J. K., & Myin, E. (2007). Phenomenal consciousness lite: No thanks! Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 30(5–6), 520. Download
O’Regan, J. K., & Noë, A. (2001). What it is like to see: A sensorimotor theory of perceptual experience. Synthese, 129(1), 79–103. Download
O’Regan, J. K., & Noë, A. (2001). A sensorimotor account of vision and visual consciousness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24(5), 939. Download
O’Regan, J. K., Myin, E., & Noë, A. (2005). Skill, corporality and alerting capacity in an account of sensory consciousness. Boundaries of Consciousness : Neurobiology and Neuropathology. Progress in Brain Research, 150, 55–68. Download
O’Regan, J. K., Myin, E., & Noë, A. (2005). Sensory consciousness explained (better) in terms of ‘corporality’and ‘alerting capacity.’ Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 4(4), 369–387. Download
O’Regan, J. K. (2010). Explaining what people say about sensory qualia. In Perception, Action, and Consciousness: Sensorimotor dynamics and two visual systems (N. Gangopadhyay, M. Madary, F. Spicer (Eds), pp. 31–50). Oxford University Press. Download
O’Regan, J. K. (2014). The explanatory status of the sensorimotor approach to phenomenal consciousness, and its appeal to cognition. In Contemporary sensorimotor theory (pp. 23–35). Springer, Cham.
O’Regan, J. K. (2012). How to build a robot that is conscious and feels. Minds and Machines, 22(2), 117–136. Download
O’Regan, J. K., & Block, N. (2012). Discussion of J. Kevin O’Regan’s “Why Red Doesn’t Sound Like a Bell: Understanding the Feel of Consciousness.” Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 3(1), 89–108. Download
O’Regan, J. K., & Degenaar, J. (2014). Predictive processing, perceptual presence, and sensorimotor theory. Cognitive Neuroscience, 5(2), 130–131. Download