Application of Biomechanical Principles to the Study of Perception and Action
Perception-action coupling is discussed in the context of the development of the visual control of posture. This developmental process is multidetermined and emergent in that it depends upon achieving the necessary muscle strength and coordination of the relevant muscle synergies in conjuction with specific perceptual competencies necessary for its control. It is suggested that more quantitative techniques are needed to answer current questions on the development of visual-motor coupling. Some common principles and techniques used in biomechanical analyses are summarized and their application to the study of perception and action is illustrated in recent studies on visual-motor coupling in infants. A novel and important finding emerging from this new research is that infants control the timing of their postural compensations in response to local environmental conditions prior to learning to control the forces necessary to ensure a stable and successful response.
KeywordsWall Movement Postural Control Optical Flow Postural Response Force Plate
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Aslin, R.N. (1981). Development of smooth pursuit in human infants. In: D.F. Fisher, R.A. Monty, & J.W. Senders (Eds.). Eye Movements: Cognition and Visual Perception. Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Bernshtein, N.A. (1947). On the Structure of Movements. Moscow: State Medical Publishing House.Google Scholar
- Butterworth, G. & Hicks, L. (1977). Visual proprioception and postural stability in infancy: A developmental study. Perception, 5, 255–263.Google Scholar
- Dichgans, J. & Brandt, T. (1978). Visual-vestibular interaction: Effects on self-motion and postural control. In: R. Held, H.W. Leibowitz & H.L. Teuber (Eds.). Handbook of Sensory Physiology. Vol 8. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
- Enoka, R.M. (1988). Neuromechanical Basis of Kinesiology. Human Kinetics Books, Champaign.Google Scholar
- Gesell, A. (1946). The ontogenesis of infant behavior. In: L. Carmichael (Ed.). Manual of Child Psychology, New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Gibson, J.J. (1979). An Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.Google Scholar
- McGraw, M. (1945). The Neuromuscular Maturation of the Human Infant. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
- Powell, G.M. Power spectral density analysis of lateral human standing sway. Journal of Motor Behavior, 76, 424–441.Google Scholar
- Winter D. (1979). Biomechanics of Human Movement. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar