The relation between infants' perception of catchableness and the control of catching

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    Abstract

    The authors studied how infants come to perceive and act adaptively by presenting 35 three- to nine-month-olds with balls that approached at various speeds according to a staircase procedure. They determined whether infants attempted to reach for the ball and whether they were successful (i.e., contacted the ball). In addition, the time and distance of the ball at the onset of the catching movements were measured for the successful interceptions. The authors found that not only catching skill but also the perceptual judgments of the catchableness improved with age; infants started to take their catching ability into account when judging whether a ball was catchable. Moreover, the authors observed that infants who made imprecise perceptual judgments were more likely to use a distance control strategy, whereas infants who made accurate perceptual judgments were more likely to use the more adaptive time strategy to control the catching movements. They conclude that the present study supports the proposal that, even in prelocomotor infants, the development of perception is intricately linked to or constrained by development in the visual control of action. © 2008 American Psychological Association.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)182-194
    JournalDevelopmental Psychology
    Volume44
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

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