Development of perception and action

Claes von Hofsten and Kerstin Rosander

Perception and action are the complements of each other.  No action could exist without perception and perception relies ultimately on action. Together they form functional systems around which adaptive behavior develop. According to this view, the starting point of development is not a set of reflexes triggered by external stimuli, but a set of action systems that are activated by the infant. Thus, dynamic systems are formed in which the development of the nervous system and the development of actions mutually influence each other. Actions are directed into the future and their control is based on knowledge of what is going to happen next. Such embodied knowledge is available because events are governed by rules and regularities. Development is about how the child acquires such knowledge. It is about understanding physical events, one’s own actions, and other people’s actions.

In this course we will discuss basic perception-action concepts like, affordances, prediction, embodied cognition, mirror neurons. We will also discuss specific action developments such as looking reaching and locomotion and finally we will discuss pathologies like autism.

Venue: Oktober 6 street 7, 1st floor, room 103.