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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Calibration of perception fails to transfer between functionally similar affordances.

  • Author(s): Franchak, John M
  • et al.

Prior work shows that the calibration of perception and action transfers between actions depending on their functional similarity: Practising (and thus calibrating perception of) one affordance will also calibrate perception for an affordance with a similar function but not for an affordance with a disparate function. We tested this hypothesis by measuring whether calibration transferred between two affordances for passing through openings: squeezing sideways through doorways without becoming stuck and fitting sideways through doorways while avoiding collision. Participants wore a backpack to alter affordances for passage and create a need for perceptual recalibration. Calibration failed to transfer between the two actions (e.g., practising squeezing through doorways calibrated perception of squeezing but not fitting). Differences between squeezing and fitting affordances that might have required different information for perception and recalibration are explored to understand why calibration did not transfer. In light of these results, we propose a revised hypothesis-calibration transfers between affordances on the basis of both functional and informational similarity.

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