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date: 27 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the relation between perceptual/cognitive systems and motor/action processes. Beginning with a brief review of this concept, different characterizations of the idea of perceptual and motor relations are traced, using the history of motor development research as a framework. Following a discussion of more recent conceptualizations of perceptual and motor relations, this chapter then reviews the impact of the idea of perceptual–motor integration across a range of developmental domains. Specifically, research and theory on the importance of perceptual–motor integration is examined in a set of obvious and nonobvious areas of application. The obvious domains in this regard are derived from work in motor development and include reaching, postural control, and locomotion. The nonobvious domains of application are topics that have typically been approached from a more cognitive perspective and include tool-use development and the growth of spatial orientation and spatial updating. The research reviewed strongly supports the concept of perceptual and motor systems being functionally integrated earlier in life, with such perceptual–motor integration playing a key role in understanding developmental processes across various domains of application.

Keywords: perceptual-motor relations, perception-action coupling, Gibsonian theory, dynamic systems theory, embodied cognition, reaching, postural control, visually-guided locomotion, tool-use, spatial orientation and object search

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