Action boundary proximity effects on perceptual-motor judgments

Caleb D. Johnson, Alice D. LaGoy, Gert Jan Pepping, Shawn R. Eagle, Anne Z. Beethe, Joanne L. Bower, Candice A. Alfano, Richard J. Simpson, Christopher Connaboy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: Designed as a more ecological measure of reaction times, the Perception-Action Coupling Task (PACT) has shown good reliability and within-subject stability. However, a lengthy testing period was required. Perceptual-motor judgments are known to be affected by proximity of the stimulus to the action boundary. The current study sought to determine the effects of action boundary proximity on PACT performance, and whether redundant levels of stimuli, eliciting similar responses, can be eliminated to shorten the PACT. METHODS: There were 9 men and 7 women who completed 4 testing sessions, consisting of 3 familiarization cycles and 6 testing cycles of the PACT. For the PACT, subjects made judgments on whether a series of balls presented on a tablet afford "posting" (can fit) through a series of apertures. There were 8 ratios of ball to aperture size (B-AR) presented, ranging from 0.2 to 1.8, with each ratio appearing 12 times (12 trials) per cycle. Reaction times and judgment accuracy were calculated, and averaged across all B-ARs. Ratios and individual trials within each B-AR were systematically eliminated. Variables were re-averaged, and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and coefficients of variation (CVTE) were calculated in an iterative manner. RESULTS: With elimination of the 0.2 and 1.8 B-ARs, the PACT showed good reliability (ICC =0.81-0.99) and consistent withinsubject stability (CVTE = 2.2-14.7%). Reliability (ICC = 0.81-0.97) and stability (CVTE = 2.6-15.6%) were unaffected with elimination of up to 8 trials from each B-AR. DISCUSSION: The shortened PACT resulted in an almost 50% reduction in total familiarization/testing time required, significantly increasing usability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1000-1008
Number of pages9
JournalAerospace medicine and human performance
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2019


  • Affordance
  • PACT
  • Perception-action coupling task
  • Reaction time
  • Reliability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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