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J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 2005 Oct;31(5):1107-23.

The scaling of information to action in visually guided braking.

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  • 1Department of Cognitive Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Carnegie Building 308, 110 Eighth Street, Troy, NY 12180-3590, USA.


Braking to avoid a collision can be controlled by keeping the deceleration required to stop (i.e., ideal deceleration) in the "safe" region below maximum deceleration, but maximum deceleration is not optically specified and can vary as conditions change. When brake strength was manipulated between participants using a simulated braking task, the ratio of ideal to maximum deceleration at brake onset was invariant across groups, suggesting that calibration involves scaling information about ideal deceleration in intrinsic units of maximum deceleration. Evidence of rapid recalibration was found when brake strength was manipulated within participants, and the presence of external forces that affect brake dynamics resulted in biases in performance. Discussion focuses on the role of calibration, internal models, and affordance perception in visually guided action.

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