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Lana M. Pfaff and Michael E. Cinelli

The current study investigated whether path selection of athletes specifically trained to fit through gaps is affected by the location of human obstacle and the form of locomotion. Female rugby players were instructed to walk, walk with the ball, or run with the ball along a path toward a goal while avoiding three obstacles (three vertical poles or two vertical poles and a confederate) placed halfway along the path, creating two equal apertures of 80 cm. Regardless of the form of locomotion, rugby players chose paths furthest from the confederate, suggesting that confederate location affects path selection. Furthermore, medial–lateral spatial requirements were more variable when participants were walking without the ball than while moving with the ball. Avoidance behaviors, but not path selection, appear to be impacted and minimized during sport-specific movements.

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Sara M. Scharoun, Pamela J. Bryden, Michael E. Cinelli, David A. Gonzalez, and Eric A. Roy

This study investigated whether 5- to 11-year-old children perceive affordances in the same way as adults (M age = 22.93, SD = 2.16) when presented with a task and four tools (nail in a block of wood and a hammer, rock, wrench, and comb; bucket of sand and a shovel, wooden block, rake, and tweezers; and a screw in a block of wood and a screwdriver, knife, dime, and crayon). Participants were asked to select the best tool and act on an object until all four assigned tools had been selected. No explicit instructions were provided because we were interested in how task perception would influence tool selection and action. Results support the notion that the capacity to perceive affordances increases with age. Furthermore, differences in the way in which 5-year-olds acted on the screw in a block of wood demonstrated that the ability to detect some affordances takes longer to refine. Findings help to further the understanding of the development of perception-action coupling.