Psychology | Perception/Action
P330 | 25937 | Bingham


Prerequisites:  P101, P211 or permission of the instructor
Surprisingly, perception/action is a relatively new area of research,
But one that is rapidly growing.  There are no texts and courses are
just beginning to emerge.  In this course, readings will consist of
original research papers, reviews and tutorial chapters written by
the experts. The approach will be as hands on as possible.  Class
sessions will consist of demonstrations, discussions and lectures.
Grading will be based on class participation and on essay exams
including a final. In the course, we cover research on perceptually
guided actions like walking and running, throwing and catching.  We
study how a person can walk down a crowded hallway without bumping
into other people, that is, how a moving observer generates optic
flow that is used to identify and avoid obstacles.  We record optical
flow with a video camera and analyze the patterns that result.  How
do you catch a fly ball?  When the optic flow is analyzed, it is not
what you might think.  We will see how actions are geared to the flow
of optical information both in robots and in people. How do we move
to the places to which perception guides us? How do we coordinate and
control our limbs to carry us around or to catch and to throw a
ball?  We will examine theories of coordination and control and
review the neurophysiological organization underlying perception and
the neuro- and muscular physiology of movement.  Philosophical
differences among approaches to perception and action will be
discussed.