We investigated the role of movement in the perception of a novel affordance for wheelchair locomotion. Healthy adults without prior wheelchair experience judged the lowest lintel under which they could roll in the wheelchair. Prior to judgments, some participants were given brief (~2 min) practice at self-controlled wheelchair locomotion. There were 2 main results. First, participants who had this brief practice accurately judged their own minimum passage height (even when practice did not include passage under low lintels), whereas participants who had no practice gave inaccurate judgments. Second, prejudgment practice strongly influenced movement of the head and torso during judgment sessions. The results demonstrate that affordance perception can be learned through brief, indirect practice and suggest that such practice can inform exploratory movement.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The research was supported by SKILLS, an integrated project (IST Contract 035005) of the Commission of the European Community, and by the National Science Foundation (BCS-0236627), with additional support from the Insti-tut Universitaire de France. We extend our grateful thanks to Elise Faugloire, Emily Locke, Michael Riley, and Masato Sasaki for assistance relating to this work.