Action-specific perception of speed is independent of attention

Jessica K. Witt, Mila Sugovic, Michael D. Dodd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


According to the action-specific account of perception, a perceiver’s ability to act influences how the environment is perceived. For example, in a computer-based task, participants perceive fish as moving faster when they use a smaller net, and are thus less effective at catching the fish (Witt & Sugovic, 2013a). Here, we examined the degree to which attention may influence perceptual judgments by requiring participants to engage in a secondary task that directed their attention either toward (Exp. 1) or away from (Exp. 2) the to-be-caught fish. Though perceived fish speed was influenced by participants’ catching performance-replicating previous results-attentional allocation did not impact this relationship between catching performance and perceived fish speed. The present results suggest that action directly influences spatial perception, rather than exerting indirect effects via attentional processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)880-890
Number of pages11
JournalAttention, Perception, and Psychophysics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 12 2016


  • Affordances
  • Attention
  • Embodied perception
  • Perception-action coupling
  • Spatial perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Linguistics and Language


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