Published On: 25/01/2005|Categories: 2003–2007, Vol.26 (1), Vol.26 (2005)|



In this paper, evidences that visuo-spatial perception in the peri-personal space is not an abstract, disembodied phenomenon but is rather shaped by action constraints are reviewed. Locating a visual target with the intention of reaching it requires that the relevant spatial information is considered in relation with the body-part that will be used to perform the task. This entails the selection of body-scaled visual information in regard to an actiondependent system of reference. In this regard, experimental data are presented which suggest that (1) what is visually perceived as reachable depends on anthropometrical and motor factors. (2) The location of what is visually reachable is defined according to body limbs, which serve as system of reference in the specification of the spatial dimensions that characterise the reachable object. (3) The system of reference is specified from a combination of visual and somatic information, what is accounted for by the notion of “allelocentric” system of reference. (4) The specification of the independent spatial dimensions determining the location of a visual object, i.e. distance and direction, is based on visual signals of different nature.

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