Marcilly, Romaric; Luyat, Marion
January 2008
Current Psychology Letters;2008, Vol. 24 Issue 1, p12
Academic Journal
According to the ecological theory of visual perception (Gibson, 1979), the perceiver-actor perceives affordances (i.e. opportunities of action) through multiple interactions with the environment. This perception is direct and consists in picking up information that specifies the relationship between the environment's characteristics and the perceiver-actor's properties. The aim of the work reported here was to study the role of eye height in the perceptual judgments of passability under a barrier. Eight participants were asked to verbally judge the minimal height of a barrier under which they could pass without lowering their head. Their perceived eye height was also measured. The judgments were made in three viewing conditions: (i) wearing neutral glasses (the baseline condition), (ii)immediately after putting on glasses with prismatic deviation (a 20PD downward deviation) and (iii) after adaptation to the prismatic deviation. The results showed that the two judgments (minimal barrier height and perceived eye height) were affected in the same way by the prisms. Most significantly, an after-effect occurred and had a similar impact on the two judgments. These results suggest that the effective eye height is not fixed but can be adapted and calibrated relative to the visual array. Accordingly, effective eye height can help estimate action potentialities for the organism.


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