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Can skeletomotor action integration occur without consciousness? Evidence from unconscious action inhibition

  • Alisabeth Ayars (a1)

Abstract

Morsella et al. claim that consciousness functions to integrate incompatible skeletal muscle intentions. Their primary cases of conscious skeletomotor integration involve action suppression, such as holding one's breath underwater, which requires suppressing the urge to inhale. This indicates that the authors seem to think action inhibition counts as the relevant kind of integration. I suggest that there is reason to think this kind of inhibition can occur unconsciously via unconscious inhibitory mechanisms. Unconscious inhibition therefore potentially undermines the authors' thesis. If cases of unconscious inhibition are not instances of integration, then the authors should clarify exactly what counts as integration.

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