Nov 8 – Pecerption – Action Development
Role of Action in Perception
• Developmentalists suspect that movement is important to perceptual
• ... is necessary for the coupling, or linking, or perception and movement
Perceptual motor theories in the 60s
• Identified perception as the precursor of movement and cognition
• Speculated that learning disabilities could be remediated through perceptual-
• Little evidence exists that perceptual-motor programs improved classroom
• Perceptual motor activities are important
• Motor and cognitive development are intertwined
• Ecological views – newborns perceive the environment and many of its
properties. They have this base level of perception. Infants then receive more
info from environment to guide another movement
• There’s a hypothesis that there is a perception-action loop.
• The period after physical activity had an increased ability to learn
• Perception develops ahead of movement skills
• Movement skills are acquired with guidance from perceptual information • New actions make new information (perceptions) available
• Exercise stimulates brain activity that facilitates learning and memory
Self Produced Locomotion
• Held and Hein (1963): motor skills development in the passive kitten was
• Bertenthal, Campos, and Barret; Kermoian and Campos: perception of spatial
relationships was enhanced by locomotor experience
• Lockman; Mckenzie and Bigelow: spatial perception improved with increased
locomotor experienced. Prewalkers gained experience through walkers so
they gain experience as if they were walking.
• Gibson: with increased experience, infants showed more sensitivity to
surfaces and slopes. Walkers were shown different surfaces and the infant
had to decide if they could walk across the surface or not. If the surface was
not stable, infant would crawl on surface and wouldn’t walk on the surface.
• With an increased motor experience, we are developing motor pathways.
With extra percetual motor affiliations, we are developing the nervous
• As we age, we use certain neurons. The ones we don't use disappear and we
lose the ability to make quick connections.
• Self produced locomotion facilitates the development of depth perception
and the efficiency of our nervous system.
• Spatial perception: enables people to know the distances of objects in
relation to other objects.
• Lockman and Mckenzie made infants walk through barriers to find mom.
Perception of Affordances
Ecological view: it is the affordance that is perceived
• Affordances involve what the environment permits, given the capabilities of
the performer • They are perceived directly, without cognitive analysis of object
Example: stairs afford climbing
Warren related stair height to leg length. If an infant is short, they may crawl up
stairs. If we were presented with large stairs, we would alter our locomotion pattern
to get up the stairs.
Affordances Incorporate Body Scale
• Body scale is an individual’s size relative to the environment
• Body scales change over the life span
• Scaling of sports environment and environments allow individuals of various
sizes to perform similar movements
Tool Use in First Year
• Infants use trial-and-error exploration
• Infants relate objects to other obje