Perceiver as polar planimeter: Direct perception of jumping, reaching, and jump-reaching affordances for the self and others

  • Brandon J. Thomas
  • Matthew M. Hawkins
  • Patrick Nalepka
Original Article

Abstract

Runeson (Scandanavian Journal of Psychology 18:172–179, 1977) suggested that the polar planimeter might serve as an informative model system of perceptual mechanism. The key aspect of the polar planimeter is that it registers a higher order property of the environment without computational mediation on the basis of lower order properties, detecting task-specific information only. This aspect was posited as a hypothesis for the perception of jumping and reaching affordances for the self and another person. The findings supported this hypothesis. The perception of reaching while jumping significantly differed from an additive combination of jump-without-reaching and reach-without-jumping perception. The results are consistent with Gibson’s (The senses considered as perceptual systems, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA; Gibson, The senses considered as perceptual systems, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA, 1966; The ecological approach to visual perception, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA; Gibson, The ecological approach to visual perception, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA, 1979) theory of information—that aspects of the environment are specified by patterns in energetic media.

Keywords

Direct perception Affordances Context-sensitivity Action capabilities 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Janie Harmon and Stephanie Cueto for all their work as confederates in this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

This manuscript was not supported by any funding, and I have no conflict of interests. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brandon J. Thomas
    • 1
  • Matthew M. Hawkins
    • 2
  • Patrick Nalepka
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, Center for Cognition, Action, and PerceptionUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

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