Perceptual-motor expertise and cognition in sport: from ecological and dynamic approach to enaction

  • Carlos Avilés Universidad Complutense de Madrid Facultad de Educación
  • Luis M. Ruiz-Pérez Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.
  • José A. Navia Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha
  • Natalia Rioja Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha
  • David Sanz Universidad Camilo José Cela
Keywords: enactivism, cognition, information-movement coupling, ecological dynamics, sport, expertise


In this paper three alternative theoretical streams to cognitivism, with particular emphasis on enactivism are discussed in order to explain the sport skill acquisition process and human control of movement. In the first part, main concepts of ecological psychology are outlined, like movement regulation, direct perception or mutual interdependence between perception and action. Afterwards, using dynamical model as background, some concepts of motor skill coordination are explained (i.e., constraints or movement emergency). The next section will be focused on enactive approach as a conceptual extension from cognitive science that transcends the other paradigms. From this orientation, it calls for a mind-body fusion of the athlete, which is inseparable to the environment and opposing the prevailing dualism and reductionism. Finally, some guidelines and applications enactive research that are currently being developed are presented.


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Author Biographies

Carlos Avilés, Universidad Complutense de Madrid Facultad de Educación

Departamento de la Expresión Musical y Corporal.

Profesor asociado UCM.

Luis M. Ruiz-Pérez, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

INEF Ciencias del Deporte


José A. Navia, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha

Ciencias del Deporte

Becario FPU

Natalia Rioja, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha

Ciencias del Deporte


David Sanz, Universidad Camilo José Cela

Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud



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How to Cite
Avilés, C., Ruiz-Pérez, L. M., Navia, J. A., Rioja, N., & Sanz, D. (2014). Perceptual-motor expertise and cognition in sport: from ecological and dynamic approach to enaction. Anales De Psicología / Annals of Psychology, 30(2), 725-737.
Sport Psychology