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Gauging Possibilities for Action Based on Friction Underfoot Amy S. Joh, Karen E. Adolph, Priya J. Narayanan, and Victoria A. Dietz
 

Summary: Gauging Possibilities for Action Based on Friction Underfoot
Amy S. Joh, Karen E. Adolph, Priya J. Narayanan, and Victoria A. Dietz
New York University
Standing and walking generate information about friction underfoot. Five experiments examined whether
walkers use such perceptual information for prospective control of locomotion. In particular, do walkers
integrate information about friction underfoot with visual cues for sloping ground ahead to make adaptive
locomotor decisions? Participants stood on low-, medium-, and high-friction surfaces on a flat platform
and made perceptual judgments for possibilities for locomotion over upcoming slopes. Perceptual
judgments did not match locomotor abilities: Participants tended to overestimate their abilities on
low-friction slopes and underestimate on high-friction slopes (Experiments 14). Accuracy improved
only for judgments made while participants were in direct contact with the slope (Experiment 5),
highlighting the difficulty of incorporating information about friction underfoot into a plan for future
actions.
Keywords: prospective control, perception-action, friction, slopes, locomotion
Prospective Control
A basic tenet of the perception-action approach is the coupling
between perceptual information and the adaptive control of move-
ment (E. J. Gibson & Pick, 2000; J. J. Gibson, 1979). Perceptual
information allows prospective control of action through a feed-
forward mechanism in which current movements generate percep-

  

Source: Adolph, Karen - Center for Neural Science & Department of Psychology, New York University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine