In 2 experiments, participants made judgments of their own maximum sitting height. During judgments, participants stood normally or on 10 cm blocks attached to their feet. The blocks increased participants' actual maximum sitting height. For many participants, judgments changed over trials, becoming more accurate, despite the absence of practice at sitting, or feedback about judgment accuracy. Learning was observed not only when participants wore the blocks but also when they stood normally. In Experiment 2, we measured motion of the head and torso. We identified changes in body motion that corresponded to engagement in the judgment task: Across trials, sway variability was stable during judgments but increased during the intervals between judgments. Other changes in sway were limited to participants whose judgments improved over trials; that is, sway was specifically associated with learning about maximum sitting height. We discuss the results in the context of perception-action and the learning of affordances.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Preparation of this article was supported by Enactive Interfaces, a network of excellence (IST contract 002114) of the Commission of the European Community, and by the National Science Foundation (BCS-0236627). We thank Masato Sasaki and Michael Riley for helpful discussions relating to this work.