Action Perception and Representation: Developing a Psychology of Events  

The talk will present recent research on how humans perceive and represent
actions. Two issues will be explored. 1) How are the natural events of the
world, and actions in particular, segmented into the sub-events we name
(with verbs) and remember. Linguistic and mathematical considerations
suggest a division of a component of action, the path that is taken through
space, may occur at spatiotemporal discontinuities. Parsing at
spatiotemporal discontinuities was confirmed with two types of test stimuli:
simple geometric motions and video of naturalistic human action. 2) How are
actions recognized? Recognition of human action may be different from other
types of actions. The dynamics of actions appear to be particularly
important for perceptual detection and possibly recognition. Finally,
recognition and representation of action is not based solely on the
movements of a human, but are better understood in terms of the function of
an action (how the human¹s action affects the environment).

 

Dr. Thomas F. Shipley
Department of Psychology
Temple University
http://astro.temple.edu/~tshipley/