See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. Introduction The tendency to view action in terms of its underlying goal structure is pervasive in mature cognition. Participants The participants were 30 healthy full-term 3-month-old infants. Procedures and stimuli 2. Habituation procedure Infants also took part in a visual habituation procedure, adapted from Woodward see Fig. Open in a separate window. Results and discussion 2.
Habituation procedure Infants received between 6 and 14 habituation trials, depending on how many trials it took them to reach the habituation criteria. Proportion of time in coordinated gaze and manual contact on toys action task. General discussion The present findings demonstrate that infants rapidly learn from active experience and transfer this knowledge to visually observed events.
Footnotes 1 Prior to this experiment, we tested 16 3-month-old infants in a similar version of the habituation task featured in this study. Making sense of human behavior: Action parsing and intentional inference. Foundations of social cognition. Infants parse dynamic action. Links between social understanding and early word learning: Challenges to current accounts.
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Language within our grasp. Grasping objects and grasping action meanings: The dual role of the monkey rostroventral premotor cortex area F5 Novartis Foundation Symposium. Object manipulation and exploration in 2- to 5-month-old infants. Anecdotal and highly exaggerated comments found in the sport's press suggest that on good days, the hole can look as big as a bucket or a basketball hoop.
On bad days, the hole can look as small as a dime, an aspirin, or the inside of a Krispy Kreme donut. The optical information received by the eye is obviously the same regardless of how well golfers are playing, so do golfers really see the hole differently depending on their performance? And if so, is the effect due to their performance on that day or to their general abilities to play golf?
Either way, the results would suggest that the perceived capacity to successfully perform a goal-oriented action can influence how big the target looks. We recruited golfers after they played a round of golf and asked them to estimate the size of the hole. We also collected information on how well they played that day, and found correlations between performance and apparent hole size.
All gave informed consent. Nine black paper circles were glued on to a piece of white poster board that was 76 cm wide and 51 cm tall with the smaller circles in the top left corner and the larger circles on the bottom right corner.
The circles ranged unsystematically in size from 9 cm to 13 cm in diameter. The actual size of a golf hole is After playing a full round of golf, players were recruited to participate in the experiment.
They signed an informed consent agreement. Then they were shown the poster board with the various circles and asked to pick the circle that they thought best corresponded to the size of the hole. Then, we collected information on their score for the course that day, their handicap, how many putts they took on the 18 th green, and how many strokes they took on the 18 th hole. For each of these measures, a lower score indicates better performance or ability.
Handicap is a number computed in golf that is an assessment of a golfer's ability. It is calculated as the mean difference between a player's score minus the par score for the course.
For example, a player who typically gets a 74 on courses with pars of 72 will have a handicap of 2. Thus, lower handicaps signify better players. We also obtained three subjective reports on their performance. Participants rated their putting abilities compared to others with their handicap, putting on that day relative to their regular putting abilities, and play on that day relative to their regular playing abilities on a scale from 1 to 7, where a 1 meant that they had their best day and a 7 meant they had their worst day.
Recall that a lower handicap signifies a better player. Combined, these results suggest that better players did not see the hole as being bigger, but players that were playing better on that given day did see the hole as bigger. Apparent size of a golf hole as a function of score on the course that day.
The circles on the y-axis are drawn to preserve relative size of the stimuli. The solid line is the correlation between course score and the circle selected as best matching the size of the hole. In this experiment, golfers who were playing better judged the size of the hole to be bigger, thus demonstrating another link between perception and performance. While we found a significant correlation between perception of hole size and golf performance on that day as assessed by course score , we did not find a significant correlation between perception of hole size and how good a player is as assessed by handicap.
This result implies that a highly skilled player such as Tiger Woods does not always see the hole as bigger just because he is a terrific player, but rather, any person can see the hole as being bigger on those days in which he or she is playing well.
However, a non-significant correlation is difficult to interpret, and perhaps a significant correlation would have been found with more participants or a wider range of handicaps. Future research should include a longitudinal study to see if perceived size changes for a player of a given handicap as performance levels rise and fall. We also found that apparent hole size was correlated with putting performance on the last hole but not with overall performance on the last hole suggesting that these effects are specific to the relevant task.
Finally, apparent size is not related to subjective measures of performance. Players who think they are playing better do not necessarily recall the hole as appearing bigger. The next two studies addressed this question. In Study 2, we sought to replicate the effect of performance on remembered hole size in a laboratory context. Study 3 was similar in design to Study 2 except that apparent size judgments were made while the putting hole was in view. We used a standard practice putting mat, which was placed in the laboratory.
Putting performance was manipulated by having some participants putt from very close to the hole while others putted from farther away. We tested if participants in the Easy close condition judged the hole to be bigger than participants in the Hard far condition.
Forty 15 male, 25 female University of Virginia students, ranging in age from 18 to 34, participated in this experiment for either a snack or to fulfil a research requirement for course credit. All participants indicated that they would play golf right-handed and had normal or corrected-to-normal vision. By their choice, participants used one of two right-handed golf putters.
They putted on an indoor, practice putting mat that was 2. The hole was 9. Estimated hole size was collected in Microsoft Paint using a standard computer mouse and keyboard. Participants were assigned to either the Easy or the Hard condition in alternating order. For the Hard condition, participants stood 2. Participants were instructed that after some practice putting, they would have to putt the ball 10 times. We asked participants to predict how many of their 10 putts they thought they would make. We then told the participants that if they could make the number of putts that they predicted, they would receive a reward of their choice of candy, soda, chips, or Gatorade.
They were then given 2 minutes alone to practice putting before attempting their 10 putts. After practicing, the experimenter instructed the participant to take 10 putts. Upon completion of their putts, all participants were given their choice of snacks, regardless of whether they made their predicted number of putts. Participants were then directed into another room to perform a visual matching task. They were instructed to sit in front of a Dell laptop, which already had the drawing program, Microsoft Paint, opened. MS Paint is a simple drawing program that consists of a sketching area and several types of drawing tools such as a paintbrush or shape tools.
The sketching area was always blank to start. Participants used the ellipse tool by holding down the shift key and dragging the mouse in order to draw a filled-in black circle. They were instructed to draw the circle to match the physical size of the actual size of the putting hole. If they were unsatisfied with their drawing, they were allowed and encouraged to redraw until they were satisfied that the circle drawn on the screen matched the size of the hole. This result suggests that participants in the Easy condition perceived the hole to be bigger than participants in the Hard condition, so they drew larger circles as matching the size of the hole.
Since putting is more difficult from a farther distance and performance was markedly worse in the Hard condition relative to the Easy condition, these findings suggest that putting performance influences apparent hole size. Apparent size of the golf hole in the putting mat by condition in Study 2 as measured by drawing circles in Microsoft Paint. Actual size of the hole was 9. Participants did not have vision of the hole when making their estimates.
Error bars represent one standard error of the mean. However, there are two concerns with this experiment. First, participants had different views of the hole while putting. Participants in the Easy condition were closer to the hole, so the hole subtended a larger visual angle and exhibited less projected compression in its aspect ratio. It is possible that these different viewpoints accounted for differences in apparent hole size. The second concern is that participants did not have vision of the hole when they estimated its size. Thus, the differences in apparent hole size may be due to an effect of performance on memory rather than on perception.
Thus, in the last experiment, we ran the same procedure as in Study 2 except that participants viewed the hole while making their size judgments. As in Study 2, participants putted from either a near distance or a far distance. However, when these participants made size judgments, they had full vision of the hole. Moreover, all participants judged hole size from the same location, and thus, had the same viewpoint of the hole while making judgments of its size.
Fifty 21 male, 29 female University of Virginia students, ranging in age from 17 to 34, participated in this experiment for either a snack or to fulfil a research requirement for course credit. All participants golfed right-handed and had normal or corrected to normal vision. The same golf putters and putting matt was used as in Study 2.
Participant completed the same procedure as completed in Study 2 except participants drew the size of the putting hole while the looking at it. After participants finished putting, they were instructed to sit in front of a Dell desktop computer, which was situated beside the golf mat, approximately 1 m to the right of the putting hole. Participants were instructed to use the ellipse tool in Microsoft Paint to draw a circle that was the same physical size as the actual size of the putting hole.
Participants were allowed to look back and forth between their drawing and the hole as much as they liked, and they were allowed and encouraged to redraw the circle until they were satisfied that the circle on the screen matched the size of the hole. Even when participants had full vision of the hole, they perceived its size differently.