The Interdisciplinary Handbook of Perceptual Control Theory

The Interdisciplinary Handbook of Perceptual Control Theory

Living Control Systems IV

1st Edition - May 16, 2020

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  • Editor: Warren Mansell
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128189498
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128189481

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Interdisciplinary Handbook of Perceptual Control Theory Volume II: Living in the Loop brings together the latest research, theory, and applications from W. T. Powers’ Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) that proposes that the behavior of a living organism lies in the control of perceived aspects of both itself and its environment. Sections cover theory, the application of PCT to a broad range of disciplines, why perceptual control is fundamental to understanding human nature, a new way to do research on brain processes and behavior, how the role of natural selection in behavior can be demystified, how engineers can emulate human purposeful behavior in robots, and much more. Each chapter includes an author biography to set the context of their work within the development of PCT.

Key Features

  • Presents case studies that show how PCT can be applied in different disciplines
  • Illustrates the Test for the Controlled Variable (TCV) and the construction of functional models as fruitful alternatives to mainstream experimental design when studying behavior
  • Shows how theory illuminates structure and functions in brain anatomy
  • Compares and contrasts PCT with other contemporary, interdisciplinary theories


Researchers and students in psychology, neuroscience, engineering, sociology, ethology, computer science, evolutionary biology, linguistics, robotics, and artificial intelligence

Table of Contents

  • Part I

    Why do we need perceptual control theory?

    1. The world according to PCT

    2. Understanding purposeful systems: the application

    of control theory in engineering and psychology

    3. The crisis in neuroscience

    4. When causation does not imply correlation: robust

    violations of the faithfulness axiom

    Part II

    Models of brain and behavior

    5. Unraveling the dynamics of dyadic interactions:

    perceptual control in animal contests

    6. How the brain gets a roaring campfire: Structuring

    for Perceptual Results

    7. How the brain gets a roaring campfire: input and

    output functions

    8. The phylogeny, ontogeny, causation and function of

    regression periods explained by reorganizations of the

    hierarchy of perceptual control systems

    Part III

    Collective control and communication

    9. Social structure and control: perceptual control theory

    and the science of sociology

    10. Perceptual control in cooperative interaction

    11. Language and thought as control of perception

    Part IV


    12. Perceptions of control theory in

    industrial-organizational psychology: disturbances

    and counter-disturbances

    13. Method of Levels Therapy

    14. Robotics in the real world: the perceptual control

    theory approach

    15. PCT and beyond: toward a computational framework

    for ‘intelligent’ communicative systems

    Part V


    16. Ten vital elements of perceptual control theory,

    tracing the pathway from implicit influence to

    scientific advance

Product details

  • No. of pages: 680
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2020
  • Published: May 16, 2020
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128189498
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128189481

About the Editor

Warren Mansell

Dr. Mansell has written over sixty interdisciplinary publications on perceptual control theory, has convened three international conferences on PCT, and hosts a website that has received over 35,000 views since its inception in 2009. His work on PCT has appeared on UK national television, in science museums, and online newspaper and magazine articles. He has authored and edited various books, including: Coping with Fears and Phobias (2007), A Transdiagnostic Approach to CBT using Method of Levels Therapy (2012), Principles-Based Counselling and Psychotherapy (2015), Oxford Guide to Metaphors in CBT (2010), and The Bluffer’s Guide to Psychology (2006).

Affiliations and Expertise

Reader in Clinical Psychology, School of Health Sciences, Division of Psychology and Mental Health, Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

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