Chapter

When Is a Grasp a Grasp? Characterizing Some Basic Components of Human Action Processing

Jeffery T. Loucks and Dare Baldwin

in Action Meets Word

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780195170009
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199893300 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195170009.003.0010
When Is a Grasp a Grasp? Characterizing Some Basic Components of Human Action Processing

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This chapter considers whether infants focus on superficial, perceptual aspects of events, or if they analyze what they see in conceptual ways. It reviews work on how infants (and adults) find units in the stream of action in the world, units which will have relevance for the learning of verbs. It raises the possibility that action analysis can actually be hierarchical, analogous to the organization of language. Thus, it can occur at a number of levels, from noting rapid changes in movement or so-called featural information (e.g. a unit might occur when the woman bends to pick up the towel), to analyzing the inferred intentions of the actors or what they call configural information, or global relations among motion elements (e.g. she wanted to rehang the towel). The chapter examines how infants form categories of action, relying on the established literature on face processing as a guide to the questions research might consider.

Keywords: infants; human action processing; action analysis

Chapter.  15253 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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