Embodied perception: A proposal to reconcile affordance and spatial perception

R. Canal Bruland, J. van der Kamp

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Proffitt's embodied approach to perception is deeply indebted to Gibson's ecological approach to visual perception, in particular the idea that the primary objects of perception are affordances or what the environment offers for action. Yet, rather than directly addressing affordance perception, most of the empirical work evaluating Proffitt's approach focuses on the perception of spatial properties of the environment. We propose that theoretical and empirical efforts should be directed toward an understanding of the relationship between affordance perception and spatial perception, keeping in mind that this relationship is nontrivial because affordance perception is dichotomous, whereas the perception of spatial properties is gradual. We argue that the perception of spatial properties of the environment is enslaved by affordance perception, most notably at the critical boundaries for action. To empirically scrutinize this proposition, and to solve issues raised regarding the validity of several empirical findings, we call for joint research efforts to further understanding of embodied perception.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)63-66
    Issue number2
    Early online date24 Mar 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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