Motor Development

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Jordan Olmscheid
Dr. Wade – Kinesiology 3132

Upper Limbs – Reaching, Grasping, Catching, Affordances

In this paper, I will be providing a quick summary of each study conducted in the Section C readings. I will first focus my attention on the studies involving reaching, grasping, and catching; and will provide the reader with what the “take-home message” is from these studies. Second, I will give a summary of the study on affordances and how this perception-action connection applies to development. Finally, I will be providing some of my own insight, thoughts, and arguments on the studies and material provided in the following. After reading this paper, one should have a general understanding of what it takes for a being to be able to reach, grasp, and catch effectively; what affordances are and how they relate to humans, and finally what the main points or “take-home message” is that these studies are trying to portray.

In the first reading entitled, The Relevance of Action in Perceiving Affordances: Perception of Catchableness of Fly Balls, Oudejans, Michaels, Bakker, and Dolne of Vrije University in Amsterdam try to uncover whether or not catchableness differs between experts and novices. Ultimately, they looked at if catchableness requires skill, training, memory, memorization of one’s own ability, or all of the above in both experts and novices. The findings showed that catchableness not only depends on getting to the ball in time to catch it, but that catchableness decreases drastically when the observer is stationary in both the experts and novices (Oudejans p. 879). The question that arises is: Can an observer perceive catchableness accurately without actually performing the action? The answer to that question is NO! Being stationary does not give good results of catchableness, even in those who were experts (Oudejans p. 885). The “take-home message” of this study shows that the extra information provided by locomotion equates to much better...
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