The Influence of Perceptual-Motor Variability on the Perception of Action Boundaries for Reaching

Lin, Lisa and McLatchie, Neil and Linkenauger, Sally (2020) The Influence of Perceptual-Motor Variability on the Perception of Action Boundaries for Reaching. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 46 (5). 474–488. ISSN 0096-1523

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Successful interactions within the environment are contingent upon the perceiver’s ability to perceive the maximum extent over which they can perform actions, commonly referred to as action boundaries. Individuals are extremely calibrated to their action boundaries, and the perceptual system can quickly and flexibly recalibrate to changes in the size of action boundaries in the event of physiological and/or environmental changes. However, because even the most basic motor activities are subject to variability over time, the information upon which action boundaries are based must also be subject to variability. In this set of studies, we examined the effect of random and systematic variability in reaching experience on the perception of action boundaries for reaching using virtual reality. Participants were asked to estimate their reachability following experience reaching with either a long virtual arm, short virtual arm, or a virtual arm that varied in size. Overall, we found that individuals tended toward liberal estimates of their reachability; however, individuals can be influenced to be slightly more conservative after a higher percentage of short reaches. Consequently, when anticipating our reaching capability in the event of perceptual motor variability, individuals employ a liberal approach as it would result in the highest number of successful attempts. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

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Journal Article
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Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
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©American Psychological Association, 2020. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at:
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04 Feb 2020 14:45
Last Modified:
17 Sep 2023 02:44