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Geert J.P. Savelsbergh, John van der Kamp and Walter E. Davis

Twenty-one children with Down syndrome (DS) and 20 without disability, ages 3 to 11 years, completed the experiment in which they were asked to grasp and lift cardboard cubes of different sizes (2.2 to 16.2 cm in width). Three conditions were used: (a) increasing the size from the smallest to the largest cube, (b) decreasing the size from the largest to the smallest, and (c) a random order of sizes. Children with DS were found to have smaller hand sizes in comparison to age-matched children without DS. In addition, the shift from one-handed to two-handed grasping appeared at a smaller cube size for children with DS than for children without DS. However, when the dimensionless ratio between object size and hand size was considered, the differences between groups disappeared, indicating that the differences in grasping patterns between children with and without DS can be attributed to differences in body size.

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Paula F. Polastri and and José A. Barela

This study examined the effects of experience and practice on the coupling between visual information and trunk sway in infants with Down syndrome (DS). Five experienced and five novice sitters were exposed to a moving room, which was oscillated at 0.2 and 0.5 Hz. Infants remained in a sitting position and data were collected on the first, fourth, and seventh days. On the first day, experienced sitters were more influenced by room oscillation than were novices. On the following days, however, the influence of room oscillation decreased for experienced but increased for novice sitters. These results suggest that the relationship between sensory information and motor action in infants with DS can be changed with experience and practice.

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Jason C. Laffer, Aaron J. Coutts and Job Fransen

execute an accurate and fast blocking movement, especially at higher levels of competition where faster gameplay creates greater time constraints ( Panfil & Superlak, 2012 ). Successful decision-making when blocking requires exceptional levels of two performance elements, perception–action coupling and

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Mathias Hegele and Friedrike Seyfried

In this opinion paper, we aim to delineate the development of the person–object differentiation in visuomotor behavior as established during the first two years of life, which can be conceived as a precursor for the broader distinction between animate and inanimate entities, which in turn form the basis of the more inclusive biological–nonbiological distinction (Poulin-Dubois, Lepage, & Ferland, 1996). We then discuss embodied sensorimotor simulation, which allows us to use the self as a model for perceiving objects in our environment, as a potential mechanism underlying this distinction.

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André Klostermann, Ralf Kredel and Ernst-Joachim Hossner

The quiet-eye (QE) phenomenon has been found to predict subsequent motor performance. However, it remains unclear whether this effect also holds for considerably extended QE durations. Therefore, in 2 ball-throwing studies, QE durations of 400–3,200 ms were experimentally induced. Inferior performance was found in short QE-duration conditions; however, there was no difference between the long QE-duration conditions. Extrapolations beyond the observed QE values showed performance gains up to 2,000 ms and a shallow interval of optimality at a QE duration of about 3,000 ms. These results, together with the fact that the intended absolute QE durations were not achieved, point toward an inhibition explanation of the QE. Thus, the initial performance gain is interpreted as shielding of the movement parameterization against suboptimal alternatives, whereas the performance loss due to very long QE durations is ascribed to mutually balancing the processes of shielding and environmental monitoring.

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Vanda Correia, Duarte Araújo, Alan Cummins and Cathy M. Craig

This study used a virtual, simulated 3 vs. 3 rugby task to investigate whether gaps opening in particular running channels promote different actions by the ball carrier player and whether an effect of rugby expertise is verified. We manipulated emergent gaps in three different locations: Gap 1 in the participant’s own running channel, Gap 2 in the first receiver’s running channel, and Gap 3 in the second receiver’s running channel. Recreational, intermediate, professional, and nonrugby players performed the task. They could (i) run with the ball, (ii) make a short pass, or (iii) make a long pass. All actions were digitally recorded. Results revealed that the emergence of gaps in the defensive line with respect to the participant’s own position significantly influenced action selection. Namely, “run” was most often the action performed in Gap 1, “short pass” in Gap 2, and “long pass” in Gap 3 trials. Furthermore, a strong positive relationship between expertise and task achievement was found.

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Moeko Ueno, Ichiro Uchiyama, Joseph J. Campos, David I. Anderson, Minxuan He and Audun Dahl

Infants show a dramatic shift in postural and emotional responsiveness to peripheral lamellar optic flow (PLOF) following crawling onset. The present study used a novel virtual moving room to assess postural compensation of the shoulders backward and upward and heart rate acceleration to PLOF specifying a sudden horizontal forward translation and a sudden descent down a steep slope in an infinitely long virtual tunnel. No motion control conditions were also included. Participants were 53 8.5-month-old infants: 25 prelocomotors and 28 hands-and-knees crawlers. The primary findings were that crawling infants showed directionally appropriate postural compensation in the two tunnel motion conditions, whereas prelocomotor infants were minimally responsive in both conditions. Similarly, prelocomotor infants showed nonsignificant changes in heart rate acceleration in the tunnel motion conditions, whereas crawling infants showed significantly higher heart rate acceleration in the descent condition than in the descent control condition, and in the descent condition than in the horizontal translation condition. These findings highlight the important role played by locomotor experience in the development of the visual control of posture and in emotional reactions to a sudden optically specified drop. The virtual moving room is a promising paradigm for exploring the development of perception–action coupling.

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Stewart T. Cotterill

. , Craig , C. , Brault , S. , Multon , F. , & Kulpa , R. ( 2009 ). Virtual environments for sport analysis: Perception-action coupling in handball goalkeeping . International Journal Virtual Reality, 8 ( 1 ), 43 – 48 . Wellner , M. , Sigrist , R. , & Riener , R. ( 2010 ). Virtual

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Joshua Nimmins, Ben Strafford and Joseph Stone

time can be attributed to the disturbance the different pucks cause to their stable perception–action couplings ( Poltavski & Biberdorf, 2014 ). At a skilled level, competition allows for aggressive physical contact, therefore players must be aware of their opposition when in control of the puck and

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Steven van Andel, Michael H. Cole and Gert-Jan Pepping

validation of a test set-up . Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 32 ( 4 ), 515 – 520 . PubMed ID: 11189851 doi:10.3758/BF03200823 10.3758/BF03200823 De Rugy , A. , Taga , G. , Montagne , G. , Buekers , M.J. , & Laurent , M. ( 2002 ). Perception-Action coupling model for