Perceptual Control Theory

Perceptual control theory (PCT) is a psychological theory of animal and human behavior. PCT postulates that an organism's behavior is a means of controlling its perceptions. The model is based on the principles of negative feedback [1]. It is to some extent an application of the ideas used in the engineering discipline of control theory to the modeling of the human mind and behavior.

PCT postulates that layers of control systems, which have access to a metric to optimize and some set of policies or actions, can maintain balancing-acts for difficult, high-abstraction things without developing any explicit model for how those actions relate to the metric being tracked. The brain is postulated to be one of these multi-layered PCTs.

Physical movements are a favorite case-study, withsince they're relatively easy to break down into this these sorts of layered control theory sub-problems. An important subtlety is that the theory postulating that a change incontrol systems are optimizing for the perception of where your hand should be sets off a series of sub-actionsstate, rather than for a concrete environmental state itself.

Actions and behaviors develop because they do something to minimize that "error."reduce the mismatch between internal perception, and the stimulus readings received.

It's unclear whether PCT is a valid theory. It doesn't significantly constrain the space of possible minds that could be built from it, and the advocates of the theory on the blog were unable to make a clear case for it. Experimental results for its quality as an algorithm seemed lackluster; see these critical comments about the paper version of this technical report, which claim that the correct results may have been achieved more through parameter-fitting than PCT.

Some anecdotally found it more useful for explaining bugs in human behaviorbehavior, than functionalfor modeling what would be ideal behavior.

Perceptual control theory (PCT) is a psychological theory of animal and human behavior. PCT postulates that an organism's behavior is a means of controlling its perceptions. The model is based on the principles of negative feedback [1]. It is to some extent an application of the ideas used in the engineering discipline of control theory to the modeling of the human mind and behavior.

PCT postulates that layers of control systems, which have access to a metric to optimize and some policies or actions, can maintain balancing-acts for difficult, high-abstraction things without developing any explicit model for how those actions relate to the metric being tracked. The brain is postulated to be one of these multi-layered PCTs.

Physical movements are a favorite case-study, with the theory postulating that a change in the perception of where your hand should be sets off a series of sub-actions to minimize that "error."

Perceptual control theory (PCT) is a psychological theory of animal and human behavior. PCT postulates that an organism's behavior is a means of controlling its perceptions. The model is based on the principles of negative feedback [1]. It is to some extent an application of the ideas used in the engineering discipline of control theory to the modeling of the human mind and behavior.

PCT postulates that layers of control systems, which have access to some policies or actions, can maintain balancing-acts for difficult, high-abstraction things without developing any explicit model for how those actions relate to the metric being tracked. The brain is postulated to be one of these multi-layered PCTs.

Physical movements are a favorite case-study, with the theory postulating that a change in the perception of where your hand should be sets off a series of sub-actions to minimize that "error."

It's unclear whether PCT is a valid theorytheory. It doesn't significantly constrain the space of possible minds that explains anything. Thecould be built from it, and the advocates of the theory on the blog were unable to make a clear case for it. For example,Experimental results seemed lackluster; see these critical comments about the paper version of this technical report, which claim that the correct results may have been achieved more through parameter-fitting than PCT.

Some found it more useful for explaining bugs in human behavior than functional behavior.

Under-characterized information storage: Characterized Information Storage

This seems to be a common category of complaints about Perceptual Control Theory.

This blog post called out that PCT "has no theory of information or how that information comes to be made," and this post grappled with a similar problem: struggling to find a place for implicit models, priors, and updates when working with a PCT framework. (This comment may have made a case for at least some embedded implicit priors.)

Applied to Without models by Spiracular at 1y

It's unclear whether PCT is a valid theory that explains anything. The advocates of the theory on the blog were unable to make a clear case for it. For example, see these critical comments about the paper version of this technical report., which claim that the correct results may have been achieved more through parameter-fitting than PCT.

Under-characterized information storage: This blog post called out that PCT "has no theory of information or how that information comes to be made," and this post grappled with a similar problem: struggling to find a place for implicit models, priors, and updates when working with a PCT framework. (This may have made a case for at least some implicit priors.)

It's unclear whether PCT is a valid theory that explains anything. The advocates of the theory on the blog were unable to make a clear case for it. For example, see these critical comments about the paper version of this technical report.

This blog post called out that PCT "has no theory of information or how that information comes to be made," and this post grappled with a similar problem: struggling to find a place for implicit models/priorsmodels, priors, and updates when working with a PCT framework.

It's unclear whether PCT is a valid theory that explains anything. The advocates of the theory on the blog were unable to make a clear case for it. For example, see these critical comments about the paper version of this technical report.

This blog post called out that PCT "has no theory of information or how that information comes to be made," and this post grappled with a similar problem: struggling to find a place for implicit models/priors when working with a PCT framework.

Perceptual control theory is T

Perceptual control theory is T

Perceptual control theory (PCT) is a psychological theory of animal and human behavior. PCT postulates that an organism's behavior is a means of controlling its perceptions. The model of behavioris based on the principles of negative feedback [1]. It is to some extent an application of the ideas used in the engineering discipline of control theory to the modeling of the human mind and behavior.

Controversy

It's unclear whether PCT is a valid theory that explains anything. The advocates of the theory on the blog were unable to make a clear case for it. For example, see thesecritical comments about the paper version of this technical report.

Notable Posts

See also

Perceptual control theory (PCT) is a psychological theorymodel of animal and human behavior. PCT postulates thatbehavior based on the principles of negative feedback [1]. It is to some extent an organism's behavior is a means of controlling its perceptions.

Controversy

It's unclear whether PCT is a valid theory that explains anything. The advocatesapplication of the ideas used in the engineering discipline of control theory onto the blog were unable to make a clear case for it. For example, see thesecritical comments aboutmodeling the paper version of this technical report.human mind and behavior.

Blog posts

See also

Created by Jim Babcock at 2y

It's unclear whether PCT is a valid theory that explains anything. The advocates of the theory on the blog were unable to make a clear case for it. For example, see these critical comments about the paper version of this technical report. controling ,(er(as in awkward reference to past unfortunate deaf(as in those who spew words-uh-grossly)eh-nitionof(controllingness)yandoR) elucidating, perceptualizing it's per-conce-ptions

It's unclear whether PCT is a valid theory that explains anything. The advocates of the theory on the blog were unable to make a clear case for it. For example, see these critical comments about the paper version of this technical report. controling ,(er(as in awkward reference to past unfortunate deaf(as in those who spew words-uh-grossly)eh-nitionof(controllingness)yandoR) elucidating, perceptualizing it's per-conce-ptions