The CIA Lab goes to the EPS Sensorimotor Learning conference, 13-14 July

The University of Leeds is hosting an EPS conference entitled ‘Accelerating the impact of research into sensorimotor learning’‘Accelerating the impact of research into sensorimotor learning’ and the CIA Lab is well represented (at the very least we’ll be clearly perceptible ūüôā

Agnes and Dan are presenting posters of their dissertation research on acquiring novel speech sounds and the behavioural dynamics of learning novel coordinations, respectively.

Andrew will give a talk on why taking an ecological approach seriously helps both research and practice

Taking An Ecological Approach to Research and Practice (slides)

The first step towards integrating science and practice is to create a common frame of reference so that we are asking the same kinds of questions. An increasingly common way to study sensorimotor development and control is the ecological, dynamical systems approach, and there is growing interest in applying this approach beyond the lab and into clinical and sporting practice. This approach is a surprisingly radically different way of thinking about our field, however, so my goal for this talk is to sketch that mindset out, using some recent empirical work to illustrate the bigger ideas.
The key elements are as follows. The form of our movements emerges in real time as we interact with the demands of the task we are facing; each behaviour is the result of an extended, embodied perception-action mechanism. The key components we need to be able to science are the task, our embodiment and, critically, the perceptual information about each of these that enables us to tie the whole package together. Modern ecological psychology describes the world in terms of dynamical systems theory and works to identify how these dynamics produce the rich perceptual information about themselves that shape our activity in the world.
I will summarise this ecological task dynamics framework and point to some useful research and theory, with the goal of sparking a conversation about how the ecological approach can shape and inform both your research and practice.

 

Advertisements

CIA Lab Meeting 12/6/17: Draft of Andrew’s commentary on interface theory

We will be reading my draft commentary on interface theory from the perspective of ecological psychology. I’m looking for feedback on things to cut, things to clarify, and whether the basic structure works!

Some context

Interface theory paper

Me on the blog developing the ideas in the paper

http://psychsciencenotes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/the-interface-theory-of-perception-view.html

http://psychsciencenotes.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/does-interface-theory-have-consequences.html

http://psychsciencenotes.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/ecological-information-is-perceptual.html

1st Annual Cognitive Archaeology Workshop, 26/05/17

Today we will all be hosting the 1st Annual (we hope!) Cognitive Archaeology Workshop at Leeds Beckett University.

Following on from Andrew’s recent paper¬†the team is developing several grants and projects around the affordances of throwing in modern and prehistoric times. This workshop is an opportunity for us to all be in the same room for a change, bring each other up to speed on our interests and skills and work on the details of our new collaboration.

Attendees include Andrew, Sabrina and our students Agnes, Dan and Michael; archaeologists Larry Barham and Ian Stanistreet from the University of Liverpool and some of their students; sports scientist Tim Bennett from Carnegie School of Sports; and engineer Ray Holt from the University of Leeds. This is the team needed to do this work properly and it’s going to be a great day!

Data collection for new throwing experiment

IMG_5670

10 participants, 30 hours over 4 days, 90Gb of data – DONE

Andrew has been holed up in the Biomechanics Lab in the Carnegie School of Sport all week with the team collecting data for a new throwing experiment. We are replicating part of Wilson et al (2016); throwers are throwing tennis balls to hit a target at 5m, 10m and 15m. This time, we are collecting enough data (20 hits per distance) to perform uncontrolled manifold analysis (UCM) on the full body motion capture data, turning our attention from the outcome of the throw to the production of the throw.

We are taking advantage of the fully synchronised, integrated set of data collection methods in the Biomechanics Lab and throwing the kitchen sink at this project. We are recording

  • full body kinematics from 70 markers at 250Hz
  • muscle activity from 16 muscles along the throwing arm and torso using wireless EMG markers
  • postural data from two force plates as people take their step to throw
  • high speed (250Hz) video of the throw
  • high speed (250Hz) video of the impact

Data analysis will happen over the summer with the paper planned for the end of 2017. Stay tuned!

 

Cross et al, 2016, How Moving Together Brings Us Together

Our recently graduated PhD student Liam Cross has just published his first paper from his PhD in a Research Topic, Dynamics of Joint-Action, Social Coordination and Multi-Agent Activity. Thanks to Mike Richardson for the invite to submit and our reviewers for their fair and useful feedback!

And congratulations Liam! One down, three to go ūüôā

Cross, L., Wilson, A.D., & Golonka, S. (2016). How Moving Together Brings Us Together: When Coordinated Rhythmic Movement Affects Cooperation. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1983. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01983. Download (Open Access)

Andrew at EWEP14, July 6-9

Andrew is attending the 14th European Workshop on Ecological Psychology presenting his affordance research on prehistoric objects (see the full program). Hope to see some of you there!

Task dynamics and the affordances of prehistoric spheroids for throwing
Andrew Wilson, Qin Zhu, Ian Stanistreet, Larry Barham, & Geoffrey Bingham

Slides: The Affordances of Prehistoric Objects

Spheroids are ball-shaped stone objects found at African archaeological sites dating from 1.8 million years ago (Early Stone Age) to at least 200,000 years ago (Middle Stone Age), making them one of the longest-used technologies on record. Most hypotheses about their use presume they were held in one hand and used to shape or grind other materials. However, their size and spherical shape make them potentially useful as projectile weapons, a property that, uniquely, humans have been specialised to exploit for millions of years. Here we show (via simulations of projectile motions parameterised by recent affordance research on throwing) that 88% of the spheroids found at the Cave of Hearths site afford being thrown by a human so as to inflict worthwhile damage to an animal roughly the size of an impala over distances up to 25m. Most of the objects have weights that produce optimal levels of damage from throwing, rather than being as heavy as possible (as would suit other functions). Our results support the hypothesis that these objects were selected because they afford being thrown to inflict damage, and demonstrates how research on the task dynamics of affordances can inform and constrain our theories about prehistoric artifacts.