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Reflective and prereflective bodily awareness in skilled action.

Toner, John; Montero, Barbara Gail; Moran, Aidan


Dr John Toner
Lecturer in Sports Coaching and Performance

Barbara Gail Montero

Aidan Moran


A number of influential theories of skill acquisition posit that the performing body is an absent presence during “habitualized” action. The current article counters this claim by drawing on a wide range of empirical and phenomenological evidence to argue that the body is never forgotten during skilled movement. We draw on Colombetti’s (2011) taxonomy of the bodily self to show how skilled performers may experience either a reflective or prereflective mode of bodily awareness depending on the foci of attention adopted during online skill execution. We argue that it is the dynamic interplay of these latter forms of bodily awareness that facilitates optimal performance and allows skilled performers to confront the challenges (e.g., injury, performance slumps) that are a ubiquitous feature of competitive environments.


Toner, J., Montero, B. G., & Moran, A. (2016). Reflective and prereflective bodily awareness in skilled action. Psychology of consciousness theory, research, and practice, 3(4), 303-315.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 15, 2016
Publication Date 2016-12
Deposit Date Jun 19, 2019
Journal Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice
Print ISSN 2326-5523
Electronic ISSN 2326-5531
Publisher American Psychological Association
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 4
Pages 303-315
Public URL
Publisher URL