The objects of action and perception Academic Article uri icon


  • Two major functions of the visual system are discussed and contrasted. One function of vision is the creation of an internal model or percept of the external world. Most research in object perception has concentrated on this aspect of vision. Vision also guides the control of object-directed action. In the latter case, vision directs our actions with respect to the world by transforming visual inputs into appropriate motor outputs. We argue that separate, but interactive, visual systems have evolved for the perception of objects on the one hand and the control of actions directed at those objects on the other. This 'duplex' approach to high-level vision suggests that Marrian or 'reconstructive' approaches and Gibsonian or 'purposive-animate-behaviorist' approaches need not be seen as mutually exclusive, but rather as complementary in their emphases on different aspects of visual function.

publication date

  • July 1998